Plenary talks


Mianping Zheng (Director of R&D Center for Saline Lake and Epithermal Deposits, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, China)
Thoughts on salt science
Progress of scientific and technological development of salt science will be discussed. The emphasis will be made on saline lake sediments, paleoclimate and paleoenvironment studies; new knowledge of mineralization and salting theory of saline lakes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; saline lake geo-ecology, halophiles and saline lake agriculture; prospect of scientific and technological development of salt lakes in China. Final thoughts on salt science will be presented.


Erik Jeppesen (Research professor, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
Climate change effect on lakes: similarities and differences in response of freshwater and saline lakes
Using field samples from our samplings around the globe and experimental results from different climate regions we will discuss similarities and differences in response of freshwater and saline lakes to climate change. Special emphasis will be on biological structure, trophic webs and biodiversity.


Vladimir Gorlenko (Chief researcher, Federal Research Centre «Fundamentals of Biotechnology» RAS, Institute of Microbiology RAS, Russia)
Contribution of Prof. Bair B. Namsaraev in biogeochemistry and microbiological research of highly-mineralized soda lakes of south-east Siberia and Mongolia
Bair B. Namsaraev and his laboratory staff carried out pioneer work on biogeochemistry and microbial diversity of mineralized lakes of Buryatia, Trans-Baikal region and Mongolia. Leading experts in various fields of knowledge were also involved in research work. Due to the complex approach, sufficiently complete characteristic of microbiological processes in water reservoirs has been obtained. The proposed report includes the most significant studies of Bair B. Namsaraev.


Michail Yakimov (Lead Scientist, Institute for Coastal Marine Environment, IAMC-CNR, Italy)
Primary production in oxic/anoxic interfaces of deep-sea hypersaline lakes: contribution of microbial dark CO2 fixation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Gradients of physico-chemical factors constitute major forces shaping ecosystems at activity 'hot spots' on the ocean floor, such as hydrothermal vents, cold seepages and mud volcanoes and hypersaline lakes. though the relationships between community composition, activities and environmental parameters remain largely elusive. The Mediterranean Accretionary Ridge, formed along the rifted margins of Northern Africa and the subducting margins of Southern Europe, contains one of the world’s highest abundance of unique geological features called deep-sea anoxic hypersaline lakes.
We report here results of a detailed study of primary producing microbial communities in the deep Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The overlying water column and the brine-seawater (oxic/anoxic) interface of five deep-sea anoxic hypersaline brine lakes were characterized physico- and geochemically, microbiologically, in terms of their microbial community compositions, functional gene distributions and [14C]bicarbonate assimilation activities. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that dark bicarbonate fixation in suboxic zone of deep-sea anoxic hypersaline lakes contributes significantly to net dark CO2 fixation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.


Oleg Anenkhonov (Head of laboratory for Floristics and Geobotany, Institute of General and Experimental Biology SB RAS, Russia)
Terrestrial ecosystems associated with salt lakes in Transbaikalia, Eastern Siberia: environments, diversity, and prospects for further biological studies
Salt lakes represent very special enclaves within steppe and forest-steppe landscapes in the southern part of Transbaikalia. Combination of several factors, namely the semiarid climate, local mineralized underground water intrusions, as well as salt enrichment due to deluvial waters uptaking in the drainless depressions, has conditioned the origin and existence of salt lakes in the region. As a result of global climate warming and regional aridity increasing, expanding of salty areas might be expected.
Likewise as the special salt lakes’ hydrobiota, distinctly specific ecosystems are inherent to terrestrial areas around the salt lakes. Multidimensional studies of those terrestrial ecosystems in Transbaikalia have been carried out. Halophytic vegetation and flora diversity, salty soil properties and mesofauna, and microbial communities, were in the focus of these studies.
Importance of integral functional assessments should be emphasized as the main topic for further biological studies of terrestrial ecosystems associated with salt lakes.

Plenary talks from young scientists. Winners of the Young Scientist Best Paper Award


Julia Margit Aszalos (PhD Student, Eötvös Lorand University, Hungary)
Diversity of extremophilic bacterial communities hosted by two high-altitude saline lakes located in the Puna de Atacama plateau, Chile
Laguna Santa Rosa (3770 m.a.s.l.) and Laguna Verde (4350 m.a.s.l.) are high-altitude saline lakes located in the Puna de Atacama plateau, a mountain desert in the Dry-Andes. The plateau is characterized by extreme aridity, great daily temperature range and intense solar radiation. Volcanic features (e.g. warm springs) are also represented, contributing to the extremity of this site. To reveal the hitherto unknown extremophilic bacterial communities inhabiting these extreme saline lakes, cultivation and 16S rRNA gene based molecular biological methods were applied.


Zsofia Horvath (Post doc researcher, WasserCluster Lunz, Austria)
Biodiversity of zooplankton in European soda pans
Soda pans represent unique ecosystems in Central Europe (with high protection priority within the European Union), not only by being the only saline inland waters in this region, but also because their ionic composition is unique on the European scale. They are temporary waters, where zooplankton thrive in the absence of fish. Due to their enormous zooplankton biomass, soda pans represent ideal stopover sites for several waterbird species during annual migration. My research focuses on the effect of salinity on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in soda pans, the connectivity provided by wind dispersal among these temporary waters, and the trophic interactions between aquatic communities and waterbirds. Understanding these links within and beyond the physical boundaries of such habitats is crucial for their long-term conservation.