Freshwater Salinization Working Group
FRESHWATER SALINIZATION | Global Change Center
The VT Salt working group seeks to better understand how freshwater salinization will affect aquatic organisms and their ecological functions in communities. The need to understand salinization is paramount because surface freshwater ecosystems make up only ~2% of the Earth’s surface, but support a disproportionately high diversity of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Freshwater species are declining each year faster than terrestrial species due to anthropogenic disturbances like climate change, land conversion, water pollution, and widespread degradation of freshwater habitats that often manifest as salinization. Despite freshwater salinization occurring on a global scale in all types of freshwater habitats, little is understood about the concentrations of specific ions that will be most detrimental to aquatic animals.