12 January 2017
Critical catchments for freshwater biodiversity conservation in Europe: identification, prioritisation and gap analysis [Journal of Applied Ecology]
Keywords : alliance for zero extinction, dragonfly, fishing and fishery, key biodiversity area, Marxan, reserve design, snail, mussel and clam, systematic conservation planning, threatened species, watershed management and restoration
1.The conservation of freshwater ecosystems has lagged behind that of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and often requires the integration of large-scale approaches and transboundary considerations. This study aims to set the foundations of a spatial conservation strategy by identifying the most important catchments for the conservation of freshwater biodiversity in Europe.
2.Using data on 1296 species of fish, mollusc, odonate and aquatic plant, and the key biodiversity area criteria (species Red List status, range restriction and uniqueness of species assemblages), we identified a network of Critical Catchments for the conservation of freshwater biodiversity. Applying spatial prioritisation, we show how the prioritised network differs from the ideal case of protecting all Critical Catchments and how it changes when protected areas are included, and we also identify gaps between the prioritised network and existing protected areas.(...)