Spatial freshwater biodiversity patterns

Platycnemis pennipes (Pallas, 1771) (© S. Domisch)

Global biodiversity is declining rapidly worldwide, and among terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems, freshwaters are particularly vulnerable. These fragmented ecosystems cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, yet they harbour approximately 10% of all described species. Aquatic insects contribute to freshwater diversity by approximately 60% as the largest and most diverse taxa group, and given this substantial proportion, aquatic insects may be considered as a proxy for freshwater biodiversity and ecological state of a given habitat. We will use latest methods in species distribution modelling and spatial biodiversity science to analyze diversity patterns of this taxa group across the globe.