Groundwater crustacean distribution mapping from Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands

The current estimation of groundwater crustaceans from Spain, the Balearic and the Canarian Islands accounts for more than 250 species of crustaceans known from karst and porous aquifers. More than 70 species are endemics, however several species found especially from caves are new to science and endemics. The hotspot of biodiversity is registered in northern part of Spain in Cantabria and the Basque Country. The Balearic Islands has particular subterranean crustaceans wih several species of marine origin. Still in several regions basic informations on biodiversity and species richness are lacking such is Galicia, Extremadura and large parts of Andalusia running the risk that an undocumented biodiversity would be affected by hydrological changes ocuring in several aquifers, due on one side to human impact (overexploitation for urban and agricultural purposes) and climatic changes (that reduce the groundwater recharge).
GW crustaceans ES
Groundwater crustaceans mapping from Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands in caves, hyporheic zone, aquifers and springs habitats

Spain is one of the most affected country from southern Europe by droughts. Climate change projections forecast an increase of temperature, decrease of precipitation, and increased occurrence of extreme events that would influence the groundwater recharge, its quantity and quality. Spain has also a huge groundwater demand for urban and agriculture acitivities and tourism. These double impacts on groundwater systems would lead to a loss of biodiversity underground sometimes even before the species being discovered. Without prior surveys of groundwater to know what species are present it is imposible to estimate the impacts (Work in progress).

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