As there are four identical streams, researchers are able to repeat
experiments, which is essential for ecological research. The aquarium
facility employs state-of-the art technology, allowing researchers to
regulate light, temperature and current velocity.
Ecology involves both observations of animals in the field, and tests of
different research questions in field and laboratory-based experiments. Up until now, researchers at the Department of Biology have only been able to conduct field studies. With this new facility, researchers at Karlstad University can control many external factors, allowing them to carry out laboratory-based experimental ecological research to test different ideas about the way nature works. Such tests may be difficult or even impossible to conduct in the field.
Thus, with this state-of-the-art facility, researchers can conduct studies
dealing with everything from competition and predation to the effect of
different physical variables on the behavior of fish and benthic
invertebrates. The first research projects planned for the facility will
deal with migration in brown trout, competition between perch and roach,
social networks in fish and interactions between the endangered river pearl mussel and the host of its larvae, the brown trout.