Perspectives and pitfalls in preserving subterranean biodiversity through protected areas

Stefano Mammola, Florian Altermatt, Roman Alther, Isabel R. Amorim, Raluca Băncilă, Paulo A. V. Borges, Traian Brad, David Brankovits, Pedro Miguel Cardoso, Francesco Cerasoli, Claire A. Chauveau, Teo Delić, Tiziana Di Lorenzo, Arnaud Faille, Cene Fišer, Jean-François Flot, Rosalina Gabriel, Diana M. P. Galassi, Laura Garzoli, Christian GrieblerLara Konecny-Dupré, Alejandro Martínez, Nataša Mori, Veronica Nanni, Žiga Ogorelec, Susana Pallarés, Alice Salussolia, Mattia Saccò, Fabio Stoch, Ilaria Vaccarelli, Maja Zagmajster, Carina Zittra, Melissa Meierhofer, David Sánchez-Fernández, Florian Malard

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Subterranean ecosystems (comprising terrestrial, semi-aquatic, and aquatic components) are increasingly threatened by human activities; however, the current network of surface-protected areas is inadequate to safeguard subterranean biodiversity. Establishing protected areas for subterranean ecosystems is challenging. First, there are technical obstacles in mapping three-dimensional ecosystems with uncertain boundaries. Second, the rarity and endemism of subterranean organisms, combined with a scarcity of taxonomists, delays the accumulation of essential biodiversity knowledge. Third, establishing agreements to preserve subterranean ecosystems requires collaboration among multiple actors with often competing interests. This perspective addresses the challenges of preserving subterranean biodiversity through protected areas. Even in the face of uncertainties, we suggest it is both timely and critical to assess general criteria for subterranean biodiversity protection and implement them based on precautionary principles. To this end, we examine the current status of European protected areas and discuss solutions to improve their coverage of subterranean ecosystems.
Tidskriftnpj Biodiversity
Antal sidor9
StatusPublicerad - 16 jan. 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi
  • 1172 Miljövetenskap

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