Algal Turf Scrubber units have been used to control water quality in a wide variety of research and exhibit living ecosystem models. Over 100 ecosystem years of operation have been logged; see Dynamic Aquaria. Two of the most extensively researched models are a coral reef and a Florida Everglades transect from full coastal salinity to fresh water. The primary function of ATS units on these models is to simulate the moderating effects of a large body of water in the wild (open ocean, lake or bay). Water qualities, leading to biogeochemical function equivalent to pristine wild ecosystems, can be achieved for years to decades with ATS.

ATS-controlled coral reef microcosm studied after 8 years of closure, showed coral and total calcification rates equal to the best wild reefs. This reef model also demonstrated the highest proportional biodiversity ever described for a coral reef, wild or closed. See home page for image.


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The basal metabolism of the coral reef model is in middle range of wild reefs.

Carbonate system in coral reef model, producing 4kg CaCO3/m2/year at the level of the best 2-4% of wild reefs.



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ATS-controlled Florida Everglades mesocosm, operated in a greenhouse in Washington, D.C. for 14 years; a 22,000-gallon system ranging from salt water to fresh water in seven-interconnected units. The dominant fish vary from unit to unit along the salinity gradient.

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