Editors David Strayer and Dr. Phillip Levin
Implications of bias in conservation research and investment for freshwater species
Article first published online: 31 OCT 2011
©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 4, Issue 6, pages 474–482, December 2011
How to Cite
Darwall, W. R. T., Holland, R. A., Smith, K. G., Allen, D., Brooks, E. G. E., Katarya, V., Pollock, C. M., Shi, Y., Clausnitzer, V., Cumberlidge, N., Cuttelod, A., Dijkstra, K.-D. B., Diop, M. D., García, N., Seddon, M. B., Skelton, P. H., Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D. and Vié, J.-C. (2011), Implications of bias in conservation research and investment for freshwater species. Conservation Letters, 4: 474–482. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00202.x
- Issue published online: 2 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 31 OCT 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 30 SEP 2011 07:42PM EST
- Received , 7 June 2011, Accepted, 21 September 2011
- red list;
- protected areas;
- key biodiversity areas
Human population growth and economic development threaten the integrity of freshwater ecosystems globally, reducing their ability to support biodiversity and provide ecosystem services. However, our knowledge of freshwater biodiversity is fragmented due to bias in conservation research toward primarily terrestrial or charismatic taxonomic groups. Here, we utilize the most comprehensive assessment of freshwater biodiversity for an entire continent to examine the implications of this shortfall. Results indicate that groups that have been the focus of most conservation research are poor surrogates for patterns of both richness and threat for many freshwater groups, and that the existing protected area network underrepresents freshwater species. Areas of highest species richness and threat are congruent with areas where reliance on ecosystem services by humans and pressures placed on freshwater ecosystems are high. These results have implications for targets to reduce biodiversity loss and safeguard associated ecosystem services on which millions of people depend globally.