The effects of brine release over macrobenthic assemblages

Despite desalination plants generate large volumes of hypersaline brine, most likely affecting recipient communities, quantitative assesstments are majorly lacking. In a last-week released paper, we assessed whether proximity to a brine discharge point in the south off Gran Canaria altered the abundance, assemblage structure and diversity of macrobenthic fauna.  Total macrofaunal abundance increased with increasing distance from the brine discharge point, though the magnitude of differences was inconsistent between successive years, probably as a result of a change in particle size distribution. Similarly, proximity to the brine discharge point also altered patterns in macrofaunal assemblage structure. In conclusion, proximity to a brine discharge point significantly altered the ecological pattern of macrobenthic fauna, though disentangling the effect of the increase in salinity from particle size distribution remains undetermined. You can download the entire ms from the articles section.

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