The Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment: an overview of the results

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Abstract

We present a summary of the results included in the different treatments in this volume. The diversity and distribution of vertebrates, insects, crustaceans, molluscs and a suite of minor phyla is compared and commented upon. Whereas the available data on vertebrates and some emblematic invertebrate groups such as Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) allow for a credible assessment, data are deficient for many other groups. This is owing to knowledge gaps, both in geographical coverage of available data and/or lack of taxonomic information. These gaps need to be addressed urgently, either by liberating date from inaccessible repositories or by fostering taxonomic research. A similar effort is required to compile environmental and ecological information in order to enable cross-linking and analysis of these complementary data sets. Only in this way will it be possible to analyse information on freshwater biodiversity for sustainable management and conservation of the world’s freshwater resources.