Understanding the resilience of aquatic ecosystems: the basis for a sustainable future

The Iberian Association of Limnology (AIL) and the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of the University of Cantabria are proud to announce the XVII Congress of the Iberian Association of Limnology, which will be celebrated in Santander (Spain) between 6 and July 11, 2014.

Water is life, and all life forms on Earth are subject to its availability. The development of human societies also depends largely on water and most of our ancient history is linked to water masses of different types (ie, estuaries, rivers, lakes). Continental aquatic ecosystems are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet and home to a large number of species in relation to the area they occupy. However, these ecosystems have the highest rates of species extinction projected on the planet, similar to that of the rainforest. Moreover, human activities threaten many of the ecosystem services on which rests the welfare of human societies (e.g., drinking water, food supply, nutrient cycling, decomposition of waste, etc…) and the rest of life on Earth. Thus, understanding which are the main mechanisms that sustain biodiversity and functioning of aquatic ecosystems are critical to ensuring their conservation and the development of human population.

The XVII Congress of the AIL wants to provide a multidisciplinary approach that allows to integrate the developments and progresses in different fields of knowledge such as ecology, biology, physiology, chemistry, physics, geomorphology, hydrology and hydraulics among many other. These are basic for the development of limnology as a science and they provide the tools for the enormous challenge facing human societies to achieve sustainable development.

The city of Santander is located in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, lapped by a majestic bay and the breathtaking view of the Cantabrian Mountains peaks. Santander and Cantabria offer a very diverse landscape sculpted mainly by water and the human hand. In this region we find the legacy of human activities in many of the prehistoric caves or ancient landscape uses that mark their territory. Nature takes its maximum expression in many of the ancient forests, crystalline water rivers, karst formations, great mountains and estuaries, bays and beaches of very different sizes and shapes. Definitely, a place worth visiting.

We hope your visit and participation in this valuable event.

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Pepe Barquín

Design: 7PIES