The Vice Presidency of the Regional Government of the Azores has successfully funded, through the Regional Fund of Science and Technology (FRCT), the research project “DarCo – The vertical dimension of conservation: A cost-effective plan to incorporate subterranean ecosystems in post-2020 biodiversity and climate change agendas” with the participation of the R&D Center of Uaç, Azorean Biodiversity Group (GBA-cE3c) starting on March 1st of 2023.
The overarching goal of DarCo is to devise a cost-effective and adaptive conservation plan to incorporate subterranean biodiversity in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
In pursuing this goal, the intention is to broadly engage with key stakeholders and the public, increasing awareness about subterranean ecosystems to ensure their effective preservation in the long run.
To this end, it was established a research consortium composed of international researchers in subterranean biology and conservation science. The consortium is large (11 countries, 13 units) with researchers operating in aquatic (groundwaters) and terrestrial subterranean ecosystems altogether.
Therefore, it will be possible to cover the breadth of subterranean habitats and taxa across Europe within a unified framework and shared databases.
This consortium includes leading scientists on subterranean biology operating across main subterranean areas in the continent and oceanic islands, curators of main databases on subterranean species distributions and traits, and researchers holding expertise in taxonomy, ecological modeling, phylogenetic methods, functional diversity, spatial prioritization, and conservation biology.
Check the whole news at the FRCT site.
To know more about the research project, check the CE3C site.