The biodiversity of freshwater is disappearing at an accelerating rate due to the human action. This is especially alarming in dry and isolated regions, where the water stress caused by the human demand and the climate change put at risk a large number of species. This might even lead to the loss of species that have not yet described. In this context, protected areas play a fundamental role as reservoirs of biodiversity, which it needs to be studied to guarantee its preservation.
The project BIOACUANA, funded by Fundación BBVA and led by the IDAEA’s researchers Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles, Pilar Llorens, Jérôme Latron and Francesc Gallart, from the Surface Hydrology and Erosion group, focuses on the aquatic insect fauna of the Canary Islands archipelago, which is especially interesting for these reasons:
- It is little known due to the lack of inventories and scientific studies
- It includes a large number of endemisms
- It presents a great vulnerability to hydric stress derived from climate change
BIOACUANA has four specific objectives:
- Hydrologically characterize the main bodies of surface water
- Generate basic information on the taxonomic and genetic diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates
- Determine the vulnerability of species to global climate change
- Identify the priority zones for the conservation of the biodiversity of aquatic insects.
Thus, this project, which has just started, will serve to establish basic knowledge about aquatic biodiversity of the Canary Islands and will promote conservation strategies that anticipate the effects of climate change.