Biological diversity in protected areas: Not yet known but already threatened

  • Maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function is critical on national and global scales. However, while only a fraction of the global biodiversity is known, its current decline is unprecedented, making biodiversity hotspots a conservation priority. The Sierra Gorda Biodiversity Reserve (SGBR) in Central Mexico is known for its rich biodiversity. It is an example of the juxtaposition between species discovery and extinction: aquatic species richness is mostly unknown as no efforts have investigated aquatic communities so far, but are already anthropogenically stressed. We hypothesized that invasive species are already well established in various protected areas and investigated this by assessing the threat of invasive species that are already established within the SGBR on the native biodiversity. By combining field sampling with peer-reviewed literature and local reports, we identify the presence of various non-native species in SGBR. Among these non-native species identified were opportunistic predatory fish and potentially-pathogen transmitting molluscs, but also, a habitat engineer capable of modifying ecosystem functions. Moreover, we highlight that these species were introduced despite legislation and without any knowledge among authorities. As a result, we underline the necessity to describe native species, control invasive and prevent the introduction of further non-native species. If accelerated action is not taken, we risk losing a considerable amount of described and unknown freshwater biota. Keywords: Anthropocene, Biodiversity loss, Freshwater, Invasive species, Mexico, Nature reserve.
Author:Axel Eduardo Rico-SánchezORCiD, Andrea SundermannORCiDGND, Eugenia López-LópezORCiD, Martin Jonatan Torres-Olvera, Sarah Ashley MuellerORCiDGND, Phillip Joschka HaubrockORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Global ecology and conservation
Place of publication:Amsterdam [u. a.]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2020
Date of first Publication:2020/03/09
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/05/27
Tag:Anthropocene; Biodiversity loss; Freshwater; Invasive species; Mexico; Nature reserve
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Institutes:Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0