Aquatic Ecology

Limnology

ecoaqua

ecoaqua

 

 

PROJECTS IN COURSE

OTHERS RECENTLY ACCOMPLISHED PROJECTS

ATLAS AND RED BOOK OF IBERIAN WATER BEETLES. 2010-2013.

Funded by: Ministry of Environment.
Participating institutes: Universidad de Murcia, National Museum of Science / Natural-CSIC and Institute of Evolutionary Biology, CSIC
Principal Researcher: Andrés Millán

Keywords: water beetles, distribution, bar-coding, threatened species, Ramsar wetlands, predictive models, conservation.

  1. The project focuses on study and current distribution of Iberian water beetles. We will prepare specific sheet for each species with information on their taxonomy, biology, ecology and distribution. In a second step we will analyse the threat status of the endemic, rare and edge range distribution species. We also will incorporate molecular data from the Iberian endemic. Third step will address to the use of water beetles as a tool for conservation, and in predictive models to analyse their current distribution and possible future changes. In a later step we will study the community of aquatic Coleoptera of peninsular Ramsar wetlands and their conservation status. The project is organised into the following sections:

  2. 1. Introduction.
    2. Methodology.
                Study area.
                Data distribution compiling.
    3. Molecular characterization of endemic species.
                Barcodes
                Phylogenetic distinctiveness.
    4. Species Catalogue.
                Species Check-list.
                Species sheets.
                Distribution maps.
    5. Analysis of sampling effort.
    Identifying priority and gaps areas.
    6. Endangered Species.
                Assessing the conservation status of endemic species.
    7. Analysis of patterns of richness, rarity, endemism, potential distribution, vulnerability and endemic genetic distinctiveness.
    8. Ramsar Wetlands.
                Species inventory.

                Community assemblages and indicator species groups according to wetland types.
    9. Guidelines for the use of water beetles in the management of ecosystems.
    10. Conclusions.
    11. References.

 

INTEGRATING ECOPHYSIOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY ASPECTS TO UNDERSTAND PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE DISTRIBUTION OF IBERIAN SALINE WATER BEETLES. 2011-2013

Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
Participating institutes: University of Murcia (Spain) and University of Plymouth (UK)
Principal researcher: Josefa Velasco García

Key words: saline aquatic environments, Coleoptera, ecophysiology, phylogenetic, phylogeography, niche models, global change.

The project aims to understand the present distributions of saline water beetles and to predict organism responses to global change by following the new, integrated, research approach of “Conservation Physiology” that combines the disciplines of ecological and evolutionary physiology in a single conceptual framework. Here we will integrate physiological, ecological and molecular genetic approaches to broaden our understanding of the evolution of saline water specialists in different lineages of aquatic beetles, and explore the vulnerability of populations and species to a changing environment. The specific goals of the project are:

  1. To determine osmotic mechanisms in representative species of aquatic Coleoptera families typical of inland saline waters: Dytiscidae, Hydraenidae and Hydrophilidae.  Are these insects osmoregulators or osmoconformers?
  2. To determine differences in salinity and ionic tolerance of congeneric species. Do species’ tolerances match their geographic and ecological ranges in the field?
  3. To examine the effects of salinity on acclimation capacity and thermal limits.  Does living in saline waters increase a species’ thermal tolerance range?
  4. To determine the relationships between physiology and habitat occupancy.  How well does physiology predict field patterns?
  5. To describe the phylogeographical patterns and genetic structure of three species within the genus Enochrus. How do they compare to other saline-adapted lineages?
  6. To investigate the evolutionary pathways by which saline tolerance arose in different beetles lineages. Are some lineages ‘preadapted’ to colonise salt waters?
  7. To construct ecological niche models incorporating physiological data to predict organism-level responses to different climatic change scenarios.

 

 

 

EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PENINSULAR NATIONAL PARK NETWORK ON AQUATIC BIODIVERSTIY CONSERVATION. 2008-2011.

Funded by Ministry of Environment, National Park area.

Participating institutes: University of Murcia and National Museum of Natural Sciences.

Principal researcher: Andrés Millán Sánchez.

Keyword: Coleoptera, aquatic Biodiversity, models, global change, conservation, National Parks

The Iberian Peninsula is an area of great biogeographic interest (relicts and/or exclusively endemic species), being regarded as one of the richest European regions in terms of species diversity. Although an important percentage of the aquatic ecosystems are included in the current National Park network, invertebrates, that represent the most important fraction of biodiversity, have been misused in order to select this areas. Thus, the the main goals of this project are:

  1. To assess the effectiveness of the peninsular National Park NetworkEvaluar la efectividad de la Red de Parques Nacionales, as many the current network as the resulting of the National Parks area new proposals addition to conservate the aquatic diversity in Spain. To reach this aim, the prioritised areas for aquatic biodiversity conservation will be identify for all the Spanish peninsular area by using a well-known biodiversity surrogate, as aquatic Coleoptera, through an species distribution spatial modelling.
  2. To elaborate an updated inventory of the water beetles species that occur in the peninsular National Parks and, then, to determine their conservation status.
  3. To develop models to forecast the population medium and long term response to the different climatic change scenarios.

 

 

OTHERS RECENTLY ACCOMPLISHED PROJECTS

TAXONOMIC AND GENETIC DIVERSITY OF MACROINVERTEBRATES FROM IBERIAN SALINE STREAM: BASIS AND TOOLS FOR THEIR CONSERVATION. 2007-2010.

Funded by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Participating institutes: University of Murcia, National Museum of Natural Sciences y University of Abdelmalek Essaâdi, Tetouan, Morocco.

Principal researcher: Andrés Millán Sánchez.

Keywords: saline streams, tipology, macroinvertebrate diversity, biotic index.

The saline aquatic ecosystems (salinity ≥ 3 g L-1) are broadly distributed around the world, mainly in arid and semiarid areas. These habitats are globally threatened by the human activities that modificate their natural features, specially discharge, salinity and biodiversity. The most important aims of this project are:

  1. To identify the diversity patterns in the macroinvertebrate community in relation to salinity gradient.
  2. To determine the genetic diversity and the philogeographic structure of the most threatened species in order to obtain useful information to improve conservation decisions.
  3. To develop a macroinvertebrate based index for the assessment of the ecological status of the iberian saline streams.

The results of taxonomic and genetic diversity can contribute to the conservation of the macroinvertebrate populations and their potential habitats in order to ensure the preservation of the processes that support the biodiversity in the saline streams. This basic information, together with the biotic index can be useful tools to make-decisors managers.

AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY IN THE INTERCONTINENTAL BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF SPAIN/MOROCCO (RBIM): ASSESSMENT, CONSERVATION STATUS AND MANAGEMENT TOOLS. 2007-2008.

Funded by AECI in the framework of Interuniversity projects between Morocco and Spain.
Participating institutes: Deparment of Ecology and Hydrology (University of Murcia) and Unity of Hydrobiology (University of Abdelmalek Essaâdi).
Principal researcher: Andrés Millán Sánchez (Spain) and Nard Bennas (Morocco).

AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS WITH AN SPECIAL CONSERVATION INTEREST IN THE MEDITERRANEAN WEST: THE CASE OF RIF BASIN (NORTH OF MOROCCO) AND THE SEGURA BASIN (SOUTHEAST OF IBERIAN PENINSULA). 2006-2007.

Funded by AECI in the framework of Interuniversity projects between Morocco and Spain.
Participating institutes: Deparment of Ecology and Hydrology (University of Murcia) and Unity of Hydrobiology (University of Abdelmalek Essaâdi).
Principal researcher: Andrés Millán Sánchez (Spai
n) and Nard Bennas (Morocco).

EFFECTS OF LAND USES CHANGES ON THE TROPHIC WEB OF A MEDITERRANEAN SALINE STREAMS. 2003-2006

Funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, General Direction of research.
Participating institute: Deparment of Ecology and Hydrology (University of Murcia)
Principal researcher: Josefa Velasco García.

 

Faculty of Biology. Campus of Espinardo 30100 (Murcia) Spain. Tlf.: 0034 868 884977