The Iberian Peninsula hosts a wide variety of inland saltscapes, from man-made solar evaporation salterns to hyper-saline lakes and salt rivers, most of them unknown to other European countries. The present contribution deals with this diversity of saltscapes, briefly introduces their main features and locations, and presents a general overview of their conservation status. Some of their natural values are not even well understood by the scientists themselves, and therefore they are very rare and fragile and in need of protection. However, many of these natural saltscapes have been and are currently under threat, having been desiccated, used as waste dumps or polluted with irrigation runoff. With respect to artificial salinas, these have been halting their activity in the last decades. Generally, historically, salt-making operations occurred where hypersaline environments already existed. These locations were converted into commercial operations. As these, too, are phased out, the loss of production has negatively affected the halophilic plant and animal communities. These results are based on empirical field observations, and a comprehensive inventory and status report of Iberian saltscapes is needed to support the ideas presented here.
Kortekaas, Katia Hueso and Vaya, Jesus-F. Carrasco
"Biodiversity of inland saltscapes of the Iberian Peninsula,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 15, Article 30.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol15/iss1/30