Ecotron IleDeFrance

Aquatic microcosms platform


Enclosed Ecosystem Platform

Parent institution: Centre national de la recherche scientifique et Ecole normale supérieure de Paris
Active since 2015
Active through all year

Fields of study

  • Climatology, Climate Change
  • Environmental sciences, Pollution
  • Isotopic chemistry
  • Marine biology
  • Oceanography, Fishery
  • Microbiology
  • Hydrology
  • Limnology
  • Paleolimnology
  • Paleoecology
  • Freshwater biology and ecology

Contact Information

Fiorini, Sarah

Experimentation on ecosystems is a prominent scientific challenge that requires mastering the dynamics of complex adaptive systems as well as to control and measure various physical, chemical and biological parameters. 

The Location

Country: France

Latitude: 48.28735556

Longitude: 2.67638889

Nearest town: Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours

Distance from neaerst town: 1 km

Relevant Research Questions

Our mission is to provide experimental tools to understand the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, organisms and biodiversity in response to environmental changes including climate change (air and water temperature, climates simulations in real time, light, organic matter, salinity, air CO2 content).


Ecotron IleDeFrance belongs to a new generation after that of London Ecotron in Silwood Park and that of the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. It is characterized by a large number of experimental units (at least 12 per platform). 


The Ecotron IleDeFrance is in construction with a set of 12 climate chambers already funded and operational, and a fully operational set of aquatic microcosms. The finalisation of the platform will require construction of a new building (in progress).

Experimental Capabilities

Experimental Facilities

Possibility to work with frozen soil samples and salted water samples.

Experiments duration: Months, Weeks;

Experimental Aerea

Total area: 0 m²

Not Relevant

Available area: 0 m²

Not Relevant

Experimental Unit Size

unit size: 0 m²

Aquatic microcosms: 2-6 L in volume


Replicates number: 50

Temporary storage

  • Dark room
  • Drying oven
  • Freeze drier
  • Freezer
  • Refrigerator
  • Liquid N
  • Other

Available Instruments

  • Continuous segmented flow analyzer for dissolved nutrients analysis (Seal Analytical)
  • Flow cytometer for microbial communities analysis (BD Biosciences)
  • Picarro G2101 CDRS for isotopic CO2 in ambient air
  • Total alkalinity titrator (Metrhom)
  • Optical Oxygen meter (Pyrosciences)
  • Dissolved organic and inorganic carbon analyzer (Shimadzu)
  • Fluorometer for chlorphyll and OM analysis (Turner)

Electricity available on site.

Distance from Laboratory facilities


Years measured:


Mean Temperature: 15 °C

February Mean Temperature: 5 °C

July Mean Temperature: 23 °C


Mean Annual Speed: m/s

Max. Annual Speed: m/s

Dominant Direction:


Total annual precipitation: mm

Mean snow cover duration: 0 days

State Variables

Continuously Measured

  • (aquatic) pH
  • (aquatic) Water temperature
  • Air temperature
  • Air humidity
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Incident PAR

Spot Measured

  • Species richness
  • Population densities
  • (aquatic) Turbidity
  • (aquatic) Chlorophyl
  • (aquatic) Conductivity
  • (aquatic) Nutrient levels
  • (aquatic) Oxygen content
  • Total alkalinity

Environmental Pressures

Variable Ecosystem Status
CO2 Agrosystem Active
Warming Agrosystem Active
Precip Agrosystem Active
UV Agrosystem Active
Soileutroph Agrosystem Active
Watereutroph Agrosystem Active
Airpoll Agrosystem Active
Soilerosion Agrosystem Active
Pests Agrosystem Active
Biodiversity Agrosystem Active
CO2 Grassland Active
Warming Grassland Active
Precip Grassland Active
UV Grassland Active
Soileutroph Grassland Active
Airpoll Grassland Active
Soilerosion Grassland Active
Pests Grassland Active
Biodiversity Grassland Active
CO2 Shrubland Active
Warming Shrubland Active
Precip Shrubland Active
UV Shrubland Active
Soileutroph Shrubland Active
Airpoll Shrubland Active
Soilerosion Shrubland Active
Pests Shrubland Active
Biodiversity Shrubland Active
CO2 Wetland Active
Warming Wetland Active
Precip Wetland Active
UV Wetland Active
Soileutroph Wetland Active
Airpoll Wetland Active
Soilerosion Wetland Active
Management - Nutrients (levels or nutrient type) Wetland Active
Management - pesticides (or other non-nutrient chemicals) Wetland Active
Management - grazing (pressure or animal species) Wetland Active
Management - species and/or ecotype combinations Wetland Active
Management - traditional (or native) vs. new (or non-native) species Wetland Active
Pests Wetland Active
Biodiversity Wetland Active
CO2 Lake Active
Warming Lake Active
Precip Lake Active
UV Lake Active
Soileutroph Lake Active
Airpoll Lake Active
Soilerosion Lake Active
Management - Nutrients (levels or nutrient type) Lake Active
Management - tilling or other physical manipulation Lake Active
Management - pesticides (or other non-nutrient chemicals) Lake Active
Management - grazing (pressure or animal species) Lake Active
Management - species and/or ecotype combinations Lake Active
Management - traditional (or native) vs. new (or non-native) species Lake Active
Biodiversity Lake Active

On site Staff and Accomodation

Peak season staff

Up to 20 people

Off season staff

Up to 20 people

Visiting personnel

Up to 40 visitors

Bedrooms available

Up to 36 beds

Showers on site

Showers on site

Laundry on site

Laundry on site