Sicilian Temporary Ponds: An Overview of the Composition and Affinities of their Crustacean Biota

Risultato della ricerca: Other

Abstract

Available data on Sicilian entomostracans allowed an initial characterization of the freshwater crustacean biota of the island and to formulate some hypotheses on its origin.The absence of supra-specific endemic taxa and the current regional distriburion of the investigated species suggest a late Pleistocene colonisation of the island by temperate taxa with a northern affinity, currently confined to the coolest areas of the island, followed by a Holocene arrival of thermophilous species coming from the Maghreb, which is still in progress. The importance of Sicily as a "crossroad" for the faunas of the circum-Mediterranean countries is thus confirmed.Unfortunately, and in spite of the EU directives, Sicilian temporary waters are crrently threatened by reclamations and spreading urbanization; the progressive loss of these environments, which are water bodies typical of the semi-arid Mediterranean climate of the region, is causing the fragmentation and, eventually, the local extinction of their own fauna, which constitutes the most representative autochthonous biota of Sicilian inland waters.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Pagine189-202
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2009

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