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Special Sessions

Freshwater molluscan research in the east Mediterranean

Organizers:
Elisavet Georgopoulou (Natural History Museum of Crete, University of Crete, Heraklion Crete, Greece/Hellenic Mediterranean University, Heraklion Crete, Greece)
Nefeli Kassari (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Anavyssos, Greece)
Paraskevi Niki Lampri (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Anavyssos, Greece)

The Mediterranean is a global hotspot of freshwater biodiversity. In particular the region of east Mediterranean, lying at the crossroad of Europe, Asia and Africa, displays remarkable species richness, high levels of endemism, and unique faunal patterns of freshwater molluscan diversity. Increased diversity of freshwater molluscs in the east Mediterranean can be attributed (among other factors) to the presence of ancient lake systems, the extensive karst distribution in the Balkans, and the abundance of springs and other isolated water bodies. However, the east Mediterranean region has already experienced severe declines in the distribution and abundance of freshwater molluscs due to two main threats: climate change and land use change.

This special session is dedicated to the study of freshwater gastropods and bivalves and aims to cover all aspects of molluscan research focused in the geographic region of the east Mediterranean.