Subterranean ecosystems (comprising terrestrial, semi-aquatic, and aquatic components) are increasingly threatened by human activities; however, the current network of surface-protected areas is inadequate to safeguard subterranean biodiversity. Establishing protected areas for subterranean ecosystems is challenging. First, there are technical obstacles in mapping three dimensional ecosystems with uncertain boundaries. Second, the rarity and endemism of subterranean organisms, combined with a scarcity of taxonomists, delays the accumulation of essential biodiversity knowledge. Third, establishing agreements to preserve subterranean ecosystems requires collaboration among multiple actors with often competing interests. This perspective addresses the challenges of preserving subterranean biodiversity through protected areas. Even in the face of uncertainties, we suggest it is both timely and critical to assess general criteria for subterranean biodiversity protection and implement them based on precautionary principles. To this end, we examine the current status of European protected areas and discuss solutions to improve their coverage of subterranean ecosystems.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.