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UB experts collaborate in the launch of the first online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas

Freshwater life is declining at an alarming rate faster than any other component of global biodiversity. Image: Núria Bonada, UB

Freshwater life is declining at an alarming rate faster than any other component of global biodiversity. Image: Núria Bonada, UB

This new online information source about freshwater biodiversity is particularly addressed to scientists and environmental managers all over the world. Image: Núria Bonada, UB

This new online information source about freshwater biodiversity is particularly addressed to scientists and environmental managers all over the world. Image: Núria Bonada, UB

Experts of the Research Group Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) led by Narcís Prat participated in its development. Image: Wolfram Graf, BOKU

Experts of the Research Group Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) led by Narcís Prat participated in its development. Image: Wolfram Graf, BOKU

The Atlas is an output of the project BioFresh funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

The Atlas is an output of the project BioFresh funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

06/02/2014

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The Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas has just been launched; it is a new online information source about freshwater biodiversity, particularly addressed to scientists and environmental managers all over the world. Experts of the Research Group Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) of the University of Barcelona (UB) participated in its development. The Group is led by Narcís Prat, full professor of the Department of Ecology at the UB who has devoted his thirty-five year career to river biodiversity. The Atlas is an output of the project BioFresh (Biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems: Status, trends, pressures, and conservation priorities), funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

 

 

 

Freshwaters are incredibly diverse habitats. Although they cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, they are home to 35% of all vertebrate species. Sadly, freshwater life is declining at an alarming rate faster than any other component of global biodiversity; freshwater ecosystems are feeling the impacts of increased human intervention and economic development.
 
The Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas is a product of collaboration of an editorial board composed by experts from all over the world. Some of them are Núria Bonada, main researcher of the project BioFresh at UB; Narcís Prat and Maria Rieradevall, from the Research Group FEM of UB, and Ana Filipa Filipe and Núria Cid, former members of the Group from the Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-InBIO, Portugal) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC, Italy), respectively.
 
The new atlas is an innovative gateway to key geographical information and spatial data on freshwater biodiversity at global scale. It is a resource for better access to information that will contribute to improve the design of ecological conservation strategies and decision making on freshwater ecosystems.  
 
The online atlas adopts a book-like structure allowing easy browsing through its four thematic chapters: Patterns of freshwater biodiversity, Freshwater resources and ecosystems, Pressures on freshwater Systems, and Conservation and management. It offers dynamic online maps accompanied by short articles with background information. Moreover, the project BioFresh encourages scientists and environmental managers to contribute to the endeavour and help to build a larger global repository of freshwater biodiversity information. 
 
This open-access and interactive resource is supported by the most important international organizations in the field of freshwater biodiversity research and conservation, for instance the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Global Water System Project (GWSP), Conservation International (CI), Wetlands International, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
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