The Iberian Association of Limnology (AIL) and The Institute of Agri-food Research and Technology (IRTA) of the Government of Catalonia, invite you to participate in the 18th Conference of the Iberian Association of Limnology which will be celebrated in Tortosa (Catalonia, Spain) in between 4 and 8 July 2016.
Last Conference of AIL in Santander had as slogan: “understanding the resilience of aquatic ecosystems: the basis for a sustainable future”, and the web of the event started the text with the popular expression “water is life”. We have adopted this expression as the slogan of the Conference because of its scientific message as much as for its social one, due to the fact that water is the essence of life for living creatures and societies. This slogan coincides with the slogan of the social movement in the South of Catalonia (Terres de l’Ebre). This movement is led by the Plataforma en Defensa de l’Ebre, in favor of a new way of understanding the use of water which allows the harmonic coexistence of human beings in nature. The people of these lands have it clear that water (represented here by the great Ebro) is something which goes beyond economy. Water is also landscape, nature, leisure, culture, identity and symbol, something that is been lately agreed to be called “ecosystem services”.
The aquatic ecosystems, in all their manifestations, provide functions and services of magnificent magnitudes, although sometimes difficult to quantify. Nevertheless, the Iberian ones are strongly impacted and very vulnerable to human activities and extreme natural events, although at the same time they show a surprising capacity of recovery if they are adequately managed. The persistent conflicts regarding the availability of the resource, as well as the growing impacts caused by floods and droughts, make it clear the need for a integral management of this basic resource for our civilization, especially in a stage of aggravation of climatic change.
The Mediterranean aquatic ecosystems are good examples of “novel” ecosystems which undergo permanent changes of difficult understanding due to their complexity, and the concurrence of multiple stress factors are a clear challenge for Limnology. In this context, the ecosystemic vision proposed by Ramón Margalef makes its greatest sense. We try to understand dynamic and complex systems, in constant evolution, where our species takes part “naturally” of a thermodynamic and playful framework. It makes also sense to recuperate this “Margalefian” vision in the geographical context of the Conference, since the Professor had his roots close to this area (his family name is very common in the South of Catalonia) Do you know that in the famous wine-growing region of the Priorat there is a village named Margalef, where the Montsant stream (tributary of the Ebro) “suffers” from the Margalef reservoir? Hope you can discover it in one of the outings of the conference!
The Conference will take place by the Ebro riverside in its final section, very near the Delta, bordered by the impressive chain of mountains of Els Ports, framed within the Reserva de la Biosfera of the Terres de l’Ebre and its two Natural Parcs. This is an extraordinary area to be able to explore unique aquatic ecosystems: Welcome to the domain of the swamps, marshes, coast lagoons, bays, ullals, rice fields, salt pans, estuaries, big rivers, dams, and mountain streams. A dynamic and complex system associated to the mouth of one of the big Spanish rivers, which receives in major or minor degree all the impacts of an extensive basin .This great system in between land and sea undergoes different pressures but, at the same time, it’s been the object of important projects of mitigation, restoration or recovery, such as the creation of constructed wetlands, the restoration of riverside woods, the creation of new coastal lagoons or the decontamination of the Flix reservoir. All this accumulated experience in the study and restoration of fluvial and delta ecosystems, will be given much importance in the frame of the Conference.
The 18th Conference of AIL wants to provide a multidisciplinary and innovative vision of Limnology that allows to integrate the developments and progresses in different fields of knowledge such as ecology, physiology, chemistry, physics, geomorphology, and hydrology, among many other, which will be submitted to the analysis and debate in an spectacular spot, the second most important wetland area in the Western Mediterranean.
We hope your visit and participation in this valuable event.
Further information in: www.limnologia2016.org
On behalf of the organizing committee.
Carles Ibáñez, Director of the Aquatic Ecosystems Program of IRTA