Since its inception, the Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management Society (AEHMS) has been known globally for promoting specific and important research concepts founded on ecosystem-based science in aquatic environments via its symposia and conferences. The mode of propagation of themes is through establishing special working groups on topics such as sediment quality assessment (SQA), Great Lakes of the World (GLOW), and State of Lake Ecosystems (SOLE). Since aquatic invasive species (AIS) are a global environmental issue in both marine and freshwater ecosystems of the world, the Society has recently initiated a series of Marine and Freshwater Invasive Species symposia to promote the understanding, prevention and management of AIS and their detrimental impacts in aquatic environments. The series began with the very successful Marine Invasive Species (MIS) conference in Oman (see AEHMS, 2015) and the topic was expanded to include freshwater species in the next conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, entitled “Marine and Freshwater Invasive Species: Ecology, Impact, and Management” (MFIS). This conference was convened in collaboration with The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Argentina and was devoted to assessing the state of invasion biology in South America. Some of the objectives of the Argentinian symposium were:

  • to promote the science and management of invasion biology in South America,

  • to encourage global collaborations, scientific interactions and training between researchers,

  • to facilitate the publications of peer-reviewed articles from less known regions of the world in a primary journal,

  • to bring together leading researchers from across the world to share the current state of knowledge on the biology, ecology, impacts, risks, and management of AIS and their vectors, and

  • to encourage future conferences or eco-forums in South America.

Interest in the MFIS-Argentina conference was diverse, with presenters from 17 countries around the world (Figure 1). The program consisted of 31 oral presentations, 3 keynotes and 31 posters, and was organized in the following themes:

  • Vectors and Pathways

  • Ecology and Biology of Invasive Species

  • Impacts of Invasive Species

  • Management Strategies

  • State of Aquatic Invasion Ecology: Argentina & South America

Figure 1.

Participants of the MFIS conference, May 2016, in front of a collection of Argentinian fossils at the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”.

Figure 1.

Participants of the MFIS conference, May 2016, in front of a collection of Argentinian fossils at the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”.

Traditionally, the AEHMS publishes selected papers from the conferences it organizes. Similarly, this special issue covers a variety of topics from the meeting, presented in 13 articles. The issue consists of articles from Argentina (6), Brazil (1), Lithuania (1), China (2), Republic of Korea (1) and Canada (2). It includes 3 keynote articles by Drs. Hugh MacIsaac (Canada), Demetrio Boltovskoy and Evangelina Schwindt (Argentina) and all manuscripts were subjected to standard peer review by the journal. A detailed summary of all oral, keynote and poster presentations is provided in Munawar et al. (2017).

On behalf of the AEHMS we would like to sincerely thank members of various conference committees:

  • Organizing committee: Francisco Sylvester (co-chair), Nicholas Mandrak, Ed Mills and Aibin Zhan.

  • Scientific committee: Sarah Bailey and Demetrio Boltovskoy (committee co-chairs), Evangelina Schwindt, Gustaaf Hallegraeff, Adnan Al-Azri and Pablo Martin.

  • AEHMS secretariat: Lisa Elder, Jennifer Lorimer, Susan Blunt, Robin Rozon.

  • Local Organizing Committee and volunteers: Nancy Correa, Cecilia Dalton, Fabricio Idoeta, Gabriela Palomo, Esteban Paolucci, Leila Ron, Paula Sardiña, Sabrina Soria.

Finally, we thank the authorities and personnel from the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” for their hospitality and assistance throughout the conference. The financial support of the AEHMS, Argentine CONICET and Canfornav Inc. is gratefully acknowledged.

Mohiuddin Munawar, Conference Co-chair

Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, Chief Editor

Sarah Bailey, Guest Editor

Fisheries & Oceans, Canada

MFIS-Argentina Conference Partners:


Special issue: Marine Invasive Species: Management of Ballast Water and Other Vectors
Aquat. Ecosyst. Health Mgmt.
Munawar, M., Bailey, S., Sylvester, F.,
Marine and freshwater invasive species research with emphasis on South America: An overview and synthesis of MFIS, Argentina
Aquat. Ecosyst. Health Mgmt.