Subterranean ecosystems host unique biodiversity and deliver important services to humans. Yet, available data for subterranean ecosystems are limited in space and/or taxonomic scope and global monitoring programs are absent, preventing practitioners to develop effective conservation and management strategies. Expert opinion may help overcome some of these knowledge gaps. We surveyed experts on a wide variety of subterranean ecosystems and taxa around the world, aiming to quantify the importance of anthropogenic threats and conservation measures for subterranean ecosystems and to provide a roadmap on how to preserve these fundamental habitats and associated species and ecosystem services. We obtained 279 responses from 155 experts in different subterranean habitats, taxa, and regions. Experts perceived surface habitat change, direct habitat destruction (e.g., pollution, damming, mining), and climate change as the most relevant threats impacting subterranean ecosystems. Legislation, land protection, and education were scored as the most effective conservation measures, whereas species-level conservation was deemed less relevant. Whenever lacking hard data, expert opinion may be an effective, largely available, yet often overlooked source of information to implement timely conservation interventions for subterranean ecosystems.

An expert-based global assessment of threats and conservation measures for subterranean ecosystems

Nanni, Veronica
First
;
Piano, Elena;Isaia, Marco;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Subterranean ecosystems host unique biodiversity and deliver important services to humans. Yet, available data for subterranean ecosystems are limited in space and/or taxonomic scope and global monitoring programs are absent, preventing practitioners to develop effective conservation and management strategies. Expert opinion may help overcome some of these knowledge gaps. We surveyed experts on a wide variety of subterranean ecosystems and taxa around the world, aiming to quantify the importance of anthropogenic threats and conservation measures for subterranean ecosystems and to provide a roadmap on how to preserve these fundamental habitats and associated species and ecosystem services. We obtained 279 responses from 155 experts in different subterranean habitats, taxa, and regions. Experts perceived surface habitat change, direct habitat destruction (e.g., pollution, damming, mining), and climate change as the most relevant threats impacting subterranean ecosystems. Legislation, land protection, and education were scored as the most effective conservation measures, whereas species-level conservation was deemed less relevant. Whenever lacking hard data, expert opinion may be an effective, largely available, yet often overlooked source of information to implement timely conservation interventions for subterranean ecosystems.
2023
283
110136
1
10
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320723002379
Groundwater, Karst, Online survey, Expert opinion, Protected areas, Subterranean biology
Nanni, Veronica; Piano, Elena; Cardoso, Pedro; Isaia, Marco; Mammola, Stefano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1907430
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