The Importance Of Mesocosm

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Mesocosms are a practical way to see how certain environmental changes affect can affect an ecosystem. Mesocosms are defined as a biological system that contains the physical features and organisms of an ecosystem, but is restricted in size or scope for use in conducting scientific experiments. There are many benefits to studying a mesocosm, such as developing a better understanding of how ecosystems work in general. It can also lead to a better understanding of generic properties of the system and the consequences of these properties in fields like ecotoxicology, aquaculture, climate change, etc. In the in-class mesocosm experiment, there is the question of how does changing the temperature of an environment affect the health of an ecosystem?…show more content…
In the in-class mesocosm, there are nerite snails, dwarf grass, cardinal plants, duckweed, and water lettuce. Each contribute their own part to the ecosystem to make it run. Nerite snails are herbivorous in feeding habits, eating phytoplankton and cyanobacteria, who also live and breed in oceans. They live for about a year and seem to enjoy living in established planted aquariums. They like tanks that aren’t too clean and enjoy hard surfaces such as glass and rocks. Moreover, dwarf grass is usually three inches tall, but its maximum height is listed as four inches. Height varies with lighting conditions and it can be housed in water from 70-83° F, KH 4-8, and a pH 6.5-7.5. They can collect a lot of tank debris, like uneaten food and pieces of dead plants. The next organism, the cardinal plant, has a maximum size of one inch and thrives in water that is 72-82° F, has a KH 3-8, and a pH of 6.5-7.5. Also, CO2 injects are highly recommended for success, along with micronutrient dosing. Another organism present in the mesocosm is duckweed, they grow in water with a pH of 6-8 and different species are better adapted to various temperature conditions. Duckweed can be grown in the pond water from which they were collected but need to be handled with care because it is delicate and easily damaged by fingers, forceps and other instruments. The last organism present in the tank is water lettuce, which grows to lengths of up to ten inches and up to four inches wide. Their preferred water conditions are 70-80° F, with a pH of 6.5-7.5 and they can grow to ten inches maximum. Water lettuce helps oxygenate and clarify water and will use the extra organic nutrients in a pond, thereby reducing algae production. These organisms will feed off of each other, with the producers producing oxygen for the other members of the

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