Defining the importance of landscape metrics for large branchiopod biodiversity and conservation: the case of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands

Sala, JordiGascón, StephanieCunillera-Montcusí, DavidAlonso, MiguelAmat, Francisco ; Cancela da Fonseca, LuísCristo,MargaridaFlorencio, Margarita ; García-de-Lomas, JuanMachado, MargaridaMiracle, Maria RosaMiró, Alexandre ; Pérez-Bote, José LuisPretus, Joan LluísPrunier, FlorentRipoll, JavierRueda, JuanSahuquillo, MaríaSerrano, Laura ; Ventura, Marc ; Verdiell-Cubedo, DavidBoix, Daniel.  Hydrobiologia : DOI 10.1007/s10750-017-3293-1 (2017)  DIGITAL CSIC

The deficiency in the distributional data of invertebrate taxa is one of the major impediments acting on the bias towards the low awareness of its conservation status. The present study sets a basic framework to understand the large branchiopods distribution in the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. Since the extensive surveys performed in the late 1980s, no more studies existed updating the information for the whole studied area. The present study fills the gap, gathering together all available information on large branchiopods distribution since 1995, and analysing the effect of human population density and several landscape characteristics on their distribution, taking into consideration different spatial scales (100 m, 1 km and 10 km). In overall, 28 large branchiopod taxa (17 anostracans, 7 notostracans and 4 spinicaudatans) are known to occur in the area. Approximately 30% of the sites hosted multiple species, with a maximum of 6 species. Significant positive co-occurring species pairs were found clustered together, forming 4 different associations of large branchiopod species. In general, species clustered in the same group showed similar responses to analysed landscape characteristics, usually showing a better fit at higher spatial scales.