The Mesocosms platform is composed of 18 identical and independent experimental units. Each experimental unit is composed of a transparent FEP enclosure with a volume of 4 m³ and a technical room housing a soil monolith of up to 1 m³ and a vegetation area of up to 1m².
Following the same operating principle, which has already proven itself on the macrocosms platform, the experimental mesocosms units allow the simulation and measurement of a wide range of environmental scenarios while benefiting from a higher replication number, a more sensitive flow measurement, a CO2 regulation from pre-industrial to several times the ambient, as well as a continuous marking in 13C.
The modularity of the “soil” compartment makes possible to meet the different size requirements of the monolith and the choice of the light source, natural or artificial, gives this device an additional advantage across the extent of climatic simulations. Designed as a modular research tool, each unit allows to measure ecosystem fluxes from photosynthesis, respiration and evapotranspiration as well as those of the major greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O).
The first 18 experimental units have been fully operational since the end of 2018.