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Time to refine the geography of biodiversity hotspots by integrating molecular data: The Mediterranean Basin as a case study

Jan Perret , Océane Cobelli , Adrien Taudière , Julien Andrieu , Yildiz Aumeeruddy-Thomas , Jamila Ben Souissi , Guillaume Besnard , Gabriele Casazza , Pierre-André Crochet , Thibaud Decaëns , Françoise Denis , Philippe Geniez , Michael Loizides , Frédéric Médail , Vanina Pasqualini , Claudia Speciale , Vincent Battesti , Pierre Chevaldonné , Christophe Lejeusne , Franck Richard

 Time to refine the geography of biodiversity hotspots by integrating molecular data: The Mediterranean Basin as a case study
Jan Perret, Océane Cobelli, Adrien Taudière, Julien Andrieu, Yildiz Aumeeruddy-Thomas, Jamila Ben Souissi, Guillaume Besnard, Gabriele Casazza, Pierre-André Crochet, Thibaud Decaëns, Françoise Denis, Philippe Geniez, Michael Loizides, Frédéric Médail, Vanina Pasqualini, Claudia Speciale, Vincent Battesti, Pierre Chevaldonné, Christophe Lejeusne, Franck Richard.
Published in Biological Conservation, 2023, vol. 284, # 110162
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2023.110162
Online: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1hGV...
ISSN: 0006-3207
PDF: https://hal.science/hal-04132081

 Article abstract:

Three decades ago, worldwide biodiversity hotspots were founded on the distributions of continental plants and vertebrates. Here, we question the timeliness of refining the geography of hotspots by basing their definition on more taxa, thanks to the molecular data available for hyper-diverse organisms such as insects, fungi and marine biota.

To do so, we assess the temporal dynamic of molecular data acquisition and the geography of knowledge about lineages currently included or not into hotspot definition. Using the Mediterranean Basin hotspot as a case study, we examine the taxonomic and geographical facets of 175,828 DNA sequences distributed over 21,552 species, and 13,001 indexed biodiversity publications. We reveal a deeply fractured repartition of biodiversity research efforts within the hotspot regarding both barcoding efforts and publication activity, the northern side of the Mediterranean concentrating 84.16 % of the publications and 75.99 % of the public DNA sequences. In addition, 57.55 % of the sequences belong to lineages which were excluded from hotspots definition, with highly congruent geographical patterns among marine and continental lineages.

Based on this analysis, we suggest 1) using the uneven geography of knowledge to rebalance sampling efforts towards poorly known regions within the Mediterranean hotspot, 2) handling the molecular corpus of orphan lineages to feed forthcoming multi-taxa biodiversity assessment initiatives, in order to 3) refine the geography of conservation stakes within the hotspot by identifying sub-hotspots of global diversity and 4) fusing a broad range of marine and continental taxa in global biodiversity mapping.

On the Mediterranean island of Corsica, Lotu beach, in Santo-Pietro-di-Tenda (France), July 21st 2016, Vincent Battesti
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Jan Perret , Océane Cobelli , Adrien Taudière , Julien Andrieu , Yildiz Aumeeruddy-Thomas , Jamila Ben Souissi , Guillaume Besnard , Gabriele Casazza , Pierre-André Crochet , Thibaud Decaëns , Françoise Denis , Philippe Geniez , Michael Loizides , Frédéric Médail , Vanina Pasqualini , Claudia Speciale , Vincent Battesti , Pierre Chevaldonné , Christophe Lejeusne , Franck Richard , "Time to refine the geography of biodiversity hotspots by integrating molecular data: The Mediterranean Basin as a case study " (online), Anthropoasis | vbat.org, page published 17 June 2023 (consulted 18 May 2024), available on: https://vbat.org/article947