Effectiveness of the peninsular National Park Net in the conservation of aquatic biodiversity

The Iberian peninsula has a wealth of aquatic ecosystems with a high conservation value, but which are increasingly at risk of degradation and diversity loss. To preserve this diversity it is necessary to identify the areas with the highest conservation value. The objectives of the project are: 1) To evaluate the efficiency of the Spanish Network of National Parks (both the current parks and the areas proposed for future incorporations, e.g. Guadarrama, Cabo de Gata-Desierto de Tabernas, Sierra Espuña, etc.) in preserving the current aquatic diversity of Spain. For that purpose, we will identify the areas with the highest conservation value (both for taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity), using a well-known group as bioindicators (aquatic Coleoptera). This evaluation will be based on the spatial modelling of the species distributions. 2) To update and complete the inventories of the aquatic Coleoptera in the Spanish Natural Parks, assessing the conservation status of all species. 3) Develop predictive models for the medium- and long-term effect of different global change scenarios in the populations within the Natural Parks. This project aims to integrate tools from different disciplines, such as taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology and conservation biology, in the search for integrative and objective strategies with a common goal: the conservation of the Spanish aquatic diversity under the framework of the Network of Natural Parks.

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