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Global Advisory Groups: Freshwater Salinization

SETAC Global Advisory Group on the Ecological and Human Health Consequences of Salinization of Freshwater

2014 Freshwater Salinization Annual Report

Salinization Advisory Group

Salinization is a global and growing threat that affects many rivers and lakes in the world. It can have many different causes (e.g. irrigation, land clearing, mining activity or the use of salts as deicing agents for roads) and it can be expected to increase in response to climate change and increase water withdrawals due to human consumption. Moreover, in the more arid regions of the world, like southern Europe, prolonged droughts are frequent and its frequency and severity is likely to be extended in a climate change scenario, leading to an increase in the salt concentration for freshwater ecosystems.

Freshwater organisms only tolerate certain ranges of water salinity. Therefore secondary salinization has an impact on aquatic organisms, which ultimately leads to a reduction in aquatic biodiversity and a disruption of the ecosystem processes, and compromises the goods and services that rivers and streams provide. Given its global scale, international collaboration is needed to investigate the impact of freshwater salinization on ecosystem functioning and human welfare and to look for management solutions. The aim of this network is to bring together managers, policy-makers, researchers and stakeholders around the world. We aim assess the impact on aquatic biota and ecosystem functioning, provide management tools and best practices and evaluate the consequences of such impacts for human welfare.

The specific objectives of the network are to:
1) Identify the main causes of freshwater salinization around the world and quantify their impact on aquatic ecosystems.
2) Assess the toxicity of the different ions related to freshwater salinization on freshwater biota.
3) Assess the impact of freshwater salinization on different ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling) and trophic interactions (e.g. by reducing predation efficiency), and explore the existence of threshold levels causing the disruption of ecosystem functioning.
4) Investigate the interaction of freshwater salinization with others stressors (e.g. drought, eutrophication, metal toxicity, pesticides).
5) Develop new techniques and methods for the analysis of freshwater salinization.
6) Develop biotic indices for the monitoring of freshwater salinization.
7) Promote best practices for the management and restoration of salinized freshwater ecosystems.
8) Facilitate the transference of scientific knowledge to all the sectors of society.

Founding committee
Ben Kefford, University of Canberra, Australia (chair)
Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles, Barcelona University, Spain; Oregon State University, USA (co-chair)
David Buchwalter, NC State University, USA
Eckhard Coring, EcoRing, Germany
Anna Lucia Gonzalez Achem, Inst. de Biodiversidad Neotropical, Argentina
Cayetano Gutierrez Canovas, University of Murcia, Spain
Jim Lazorchak, US EPA, USA
Paul Mensah, Rhodes University, South Africa
Narcis Prat, University of Barcelona, Spain
Claus-Jürgen Schulz, Thüringer Landesanstalt für Umwelt & Geologie, Germany

Activites overview
Technical Workshop on Freshwater Salinization, 10 – 13 March 2014, BurgLudwigstein Castle, Germany. Please find the workshop summary.

Group Feed
Mindy Y. Armstead joined the group Global Advisory Groups: Freshwater Salinization .
Posted Saturday, February 07, 2015
Miguel Canedo-Arguelles wrote on the Global Advisory Groups: Freshwater Salinization wall: Dear all, The next AG meeting will take place on Tuesday 5th May at 5 pm in room 213 + 214 of the Centre Convencions Internacional de Barcelona during the SETAC Europe Conference ( Hope to see you there!
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2015
David R. Ownby joined the group Global Advisory Groups: Freshwater Salinization .
Posted Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Brent Johnson joined the group Global Advisory Groups: Freshwater Salinization .
Posted Monday, October 27, 2014
Miguel Canedo-Arguelles wrote on the Global Advisory Groups: Freshwater Salinization wall: Dear all, I would like to inform that our session "Aquatic life in a saltier world: Impact of secondary salinization on freshwater ecosystems (under main theme: ECO - Ecosystem responses and services under multi-stress conditions)" was selected to be included in the first call for abstracts of the next SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting, which will be held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, from 3-7 May 2015. We would like to invite you to submit your abstracts. All abstracts must be submitted via the online abstract submission page, which will open by 6 October and can be reached via The deadline for abstract submission is 26 November 2014. Abstracts submitted after that date will NOT be taken into consideration. Note that people submitting an abstract for a platform presentation, will be asked to submit an extended abstract of 2 pages. Please forward this information to anyone who could be interested on presenting in this session. Thanks! Best, Miguel.
Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Upcoming Events
Freshwater Salinization AG meeting
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Freshwater Salinization AG meeting
Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Related Group News

SETAC Salt Lake City Call for Abstracts
Posted in Annual Meetings, Friday, April 17, 2015

Abstract submission is now open for the SETAC North America 36th Annual Meeting  Buzzing With Science – Cross-Pollination for Environmental Progress, taking place from 1–5 ... more »

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Miguel Canedo-Arguelles
Ben J. Kefford


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