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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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PEARL, the aquatic experimentation facility at Rennes - Le Rheu

Indoor facilities

The indoor facilities, totalling 800 m2, comprise some 15 rooms, for the technical side (laboratory, offices, workshops, boiler room etc.) and for experiments (controlled-climate rooms, lotic channels, artificial spawning beds, etc.). Some are used for producing and maintaining model organisms – fish such as shad, lamprey, eel and juvenile salmonids, invertebrates such as shrimp, daphnia and chironomids, and also algae, plants, etc. Other rooms are multifunctional and can be fitted out to meet specific needs, e.g. for experiments involving xenobiotics or species classed as invasive.

Expérimentations en milieux contrôlés
Crucian carp farming

The greenhouses

The greenhouses, totalling 250 m2, are used for experiments or for animal or plant production.

Expérimentations en milieux contrôlés

The mesocosms

PEARL has a set of about 100 ponds, ranging in size from 0.5 m3 to 30m3, in which aquatic ecosystems of various degrees of complexity are reproduced. They are used for studying ecosystem functioning and the impact of anthropic or non-anthropic forcing factors in lentic environments. Part of the array is organised for ecotoxicology experiments.
All the ponds are outdoors and subject to local variations in temperature, precipitation etc. All can be adapted to the design defined by the body sponsoring the experiment.

This array of mesocosms has few equivalents in France and many multidisciplinary programmes make use of our facilities and scientific skills. We are in contact with the Centre de Recherche en Écologie Expérimentale et Prédictive in Île-de-France (CEREEP, Experimental and predictive ecology research centre), which has developed the same kind of tools in recent years, and the Total research and development centre in Mont-Lacq (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), which has lotic systems.

PEARL outdoor ponds
PEARL outdoor ponds

The ponds at Le Rheu 

PEARL also has about 30 ponds at Le Rheu, ranging between 100 m² and 1000 m². They are used for studies of pond ecosystem functioning, research on pond aquaculture, agro-ecology etc., or for keeping model organisms such as Crucian carp, pike, eel and shad.

Le Rheu PEARL ponds
Le Rheu PEARL troughs