Bioregionalization models in nature conservation: past, present and future

Supervisors:Prof. Dr. Sara Varela (MfN), Prof. Dr. Heike Siebert (FU) and Prof. Dr. Miguel Ángel Rodríguez (UAH)


Project Outline:

Since biodiversity faces its major extinction event ever, wildlife conservation has become a fundamental need. However, preserving at global scale is impossible and hence prioritization is a key matter to address. Traditional conservation criteria usually dissociate the ecological portrait (current measurements of biodiversity) to the evolutionary dynamism of species. We propose the use of bioregions (historically meaningful regions) to highlight the differential uniqueness of lineages and to predict their susceptibility to extinction. This approach will be informative about the evolutionary history of geographical assemblages of organisms. Moreover, it will provide the first objective and global bioregion scheme for conservation in contrast to non-repeatable classical ones. To do that, we will address three objectives, each one focused on a different temporal context: 1)To define the underlying factors (geological/climatic) of past bioregional evolution. 2) To unveil the best regionalization method to recover global bioregions by using current data. 3) To predict the evolution of bioregions into the future.