A Case for the Protection of Saline and Hypersaline Environments: A Microbiological Perspective


Saline and hypersaline environments are known for their unique geochemical properties, microbial populations and aesthetic appeal. Microbial activities and a spectrum of diversity seen in hypersaline environments are distinct with many novel species being identified and reported on a regular basis. Many distinguishing characteristics about the adaptation, morphology, evolutionary history, and potential environmental and biotechnological applications of these organisms are continually investigated. An abundance of interdisciplinary activities and opportunities exist to explore and understand the importance of these environments that potentially hold promising solutions for current and future global issues. Therefore, it is critical to conserve these unique environments and limit the damage inflicted by anthropogenic influences. Increased salinization due to water diversions, undesired freshening, extensive mineral extraction, sewage effluents, pollution due to agricultural runoff and industrial processes, urbanization, and global climate change are factors negatively affecting hypersaline lakes and their surrounding environments. If these harmful effects continue to proceed at the current or even accelerated rates, irrevocable consequences for these environments will occur, resulting in the loss of potential opportunities to gain new knowledge of the biogeochemistry as well as beneficial microbial populations closely associated with these unique and interesting environments.


Biological Sciences

Keywords and Phrases

Sodium Chloride; Bacterium; Chemistry; Classification; Climate Change; Ecosystem; Environmental Monitoring; Genetics; Growth, Development and Aging; Isolation and Purification; Microbiology; Pollution; Bacteria; Environmental Pollution; Lakes; Anthropogenic; Halophile; Hypersaline; Salinization

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1574-6941; 0168-6496

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 Oxford University Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2017

PubMed ID