Special session on saline lakes at the SIL meeting

Early-bird registration and abstract submission are now open for the Congress of the International Society of Limnology (SIL) (Nanjing, China, August 19-24, 2018). Early-bird rates apply till 1 April 1 2018.

We are glad to invite you to join special session on saline lakes S23. “Saline lakes: changes in structure, stability and ecosystem services along a salinity gradient

If you want to join this special session, please indicate it when submitting your abstract after registration.


S23. Saline lakes: changes in structure, stability and ecosystem services along a salinity gradient
Co-chairs: Egor Zadereev (Russia) and Emil Boros (Hungary)

The intensity of research studies on saline lakes is not equal to the much higher number of papers published on various aspects of freshwater science. The same tendency can be observed in the program of largest limnological events (e.g. SIL or ASLO meetings). The proportion of oral and poster talks focused on saline lakes usually about 2-3% out of the conference program. This ratio is disappointing as the total volume of water stored in salt and freshwater lakes worldwide is almost comparable (Messager et al., 2016).

Due to climate change and various anthropogenic effects, many freshwater lakes face risk of becoming saline. It is also important to point out that many saline lakes can either decline in size or dry out due to climatic or anthropogenic forcing. Taking into account that saline lakes can differ in ionic composition, freshwater lakes become salty, saline lakes experience fluctuations of salinity – division into studies of saline and freshwater lakes is not always justified. It is more appropriate to consider a wide range of possible conditions (from fresh to salt waters) and to study how ecosystems are transformed when the concentration of salts increases and composition of salts fluctuates. Saline lakes as any natural ecosystem also provide numerous ecosystem services that can be altered or diminished by salinity fluctuations.

Thus, special session will be organized which is focused on the changes in structure, stability and ecosystem services of lakes along a salinity gradient. There are not only well known examples of Aral Sea, Lake Urmia, Dead Sea or Great Salt Lake that experience strong water level and salinity fluctuations and related changes in biodiversity, ecosystem structure and ecosystem health. Many medium size and small lakes in different continents and climatic zones experience similar but much faster shifts and may provide us with new knowledge and ideas.