Use of open-top chambers to study the effect of climate change in aquatic ecosystems

Jordie J.C. Netten, Egbert H. van Nes, Marten Scheffer,Rudi M.M. Roijackers

Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods 6:223-229 (2008) | DOI: 10.4319/lom.2008.6.223

ABSTRACT: The aim of this research was to explore the possibility to use inexpensive open-top chambers (OTCs) as passive artificial warming devices in experimental aquatic studies. Our results show that OTCs give a significant temperature increase compared with the control. The measured increase (up to an average of 2.3°C) corresponds with predicted climatic warming. Due to their open top, the light quantity and quality is only minimally reduced. We found that OTCs are especially suited for studying the effect of climate change in small waters as the vertical temperature gradients remain unchanged. They can also easily be transported to remote environments. We discuss other advantages and disadvantages of these devices for aquatic studies and compare them with other warming devices.