|Keywords||Aphanothece, Artemia, Dunaliella, red halophilic bacteria, salinas|
|Abstract||We describe biological and physical aspects of the ponds of a Mexican solar saltworks before and after damage from Hurricane Gilbert (September 1988) and our efforts to restore economic production of high quality salt at design capacity to the salina. The disaster destroyed dikes, pump stations, and gates of the saltworks, depressed salinities in the ponds, and stopped salt production. Biological consequences in the ponds included 1) development of planktonic biotas dominated by dense concentrations of Aphanothece halophytica, 2) appearance of brown, viscous water, and massive quantities of mucilage on pond floors, and 3) destruction of preexisting benthic communities. Physical and biological measures implemented during 1990 through 1999 to aid recovery of the saltworks included 1) repair or replacement of damaged dikes, pumps, and gates, 2) restoration and preservation of the pre-hurricane salinity gradient throughout the ponds, 3) maintenance of the salinity in each pond in a narrow and unchanging range, 4) selection of flows and depths to aid development of nutrient-sequestering benthic communities, and 5) increase of the residence time of saturated brine in the storage ponds. These measures occurred with the appearance and expansion of layered benthic communities of filamentous blue-green algae and a variety of other organisms along pond peripheries, decreased viscosity of brines in storage and crystallizer ponds, and gradual restoration of salt production. However, massive production and accumulation of mucilage in the water and on pond floors persisted, deposition of gypsum as separate, microscopic crystals continued, and unacceptable losses of salt in the wash process occurred. Additional biological measures implemented from 2000 through 2002 included continuous reintroduction of large numbers of well fed Artemia to selected ponds during January through August of each year. Subsequent occurrences included significant decreases of organic-releasing planktonic algae, diminished quantities of mucilage and microscopic gypsum crystals in the water column and on pond floors, increased water clarity, continued development of the layered benthic communities, and deposition of gypsum in sheets on pond floors. These improvements coincided with production of larger salt crystals than formerly, decreased concentrations of contaminants in the harvested salt, and decreased losses of salt in the wash process.|
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|Name||Affiliation||Home page||Total pubs|
|Davis JS||Professor Emeritus University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida email@example.com||10|
|Ortiz-Milan SM||Industria Salinera de Yucatan S.A. de C.V., Ecology Department, Calle 1-H – 105 int. 19 Col. Mexico Norte, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico C.P. firstname.lastname@example.org||9|
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