The Calabrian Peninsula (Southern Italy) has acted as a glacial refugium and is now considered a hotspot for the genetic diversity of several species. Even if it hosts the highest diversity of many Italian endemic amphibian species, the distribution of some of these needs an update to address conservation measures. We took advantage of a vast dataset for three Italian species (Bornbina pachypus, Salamandrina terdigitata, Triturus carnifex), two of which are endemic, deriving from a 40-year field surveys dataset (1982-2022), to update their distribution and basic ecological requirements. We evaluated changes in their distribution, projecting them on a broader spatial scale through a kernel density estimation, inferring statistically-significant hotspots using Corine Land Cover patches, and assessing the protected areas' coverage. We confirmed that Pollino, Catena Costiera, Sila and Aspromonte massifs are the main statistically-significant hotspots. Kernel densities showed a diversified pattern of gains/losses, sometimes overlapping, depending on the species. The whole outcomes obtained allow us to pinpoint specific areas where effective conservation measures need to be applied. Ousr findings reveal that local-scale monitoring and management should be planned, especially within the existing nationally-designated protected areas, which have been shown to protect far less with respect to the Natura 2000 sites.

Updating Distribution, Ecology, and Hotspots for Three Amphibian Species to Set Conservation Priorities in a European Glacial Refugium

Biondi, M;Iannella, M
2022

Abstract

The Calabrian Peninsula (Southern Italy) has acted as a glacial refugium and is now considered a hotspot for the genetic diversity of several species. Even if it hosts the highest diversity of many Italian endemic amphibian species, the distribution of some of these needs an update to address conservation measures. We took advantage of a vast dataset for three Italian species (Bornbina pachypus, Salamandrina terdigitata, Triturus carnifex), two of which are endemic, deriving from a 40-year field surveys dataset (1982-2022), to update their distribution and basic ecological requirements. We evaluated changes in their distribution, projecting them on a broader spatial scale through a kernel density estimation, inferring statistically-significant hotspots using Corine Land Cover patches, and assessing the protected areas' coverage. We confirmed that Pollino, Catena Costiera, Sila and Aspromonte massifs are the main statistically-significant hotspots. Kernel densities showed a diversified pattern of gains/losses, sometimes overlapping, depending on the species. The whole outcomes obtained allow us to pinpoint specific areas where effective conservation measures need to be applied. Ousr findings reveal that local-scale monitoring and management should be planned, especially within the existing nationally-designated protected areas, which have been shown to protect far less with respect to the Natura 2000 sites.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/191620
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