Vivarium literally translates to ‘place for life’ and they are just that. Typically enclosed environments, vivariums usually scale an ecosystem down to a few simple elements that exhibit the interactions between different life forms.
Vivariums are typically small, however, in the early 90’s scientists created a large-scale one to recreate an ecosystem that then could be exported to other terrestrial environments. Two experiments were conducted, the first lasting two years with moderate success and the second was terminated prematurely over funding issues.
Vivariums are an interesting invention as they could be used for the colonization of space. If any permanent space station structure is to be successful, a vivarium type environment will be the only sustainable way to make it viable for human existence.