The Mercantour/Alpi Marittime All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI): achievements and prospects


en Zoosystema 37 (4) - Pages 667-679

Published on 31 December 2015

This article is a part of the thematic issue Mercantour/Alpi Marittime All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory

This paper summarizes the main results from taxonomic inventories drawn up as part of the ATBI of the Mercantour/Alpi Marittime parks in the French and Italian Alps. It compares the data on different groups of the invertebrate fauna published in the Zoosystema issues devoted to the ATBI with those recorded in the EDIT (European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy) and INPN (Inventaire national du Patrimoine naturel) ATBI databases. It also highlights the contribution of the ATBI inventory to a better knowledge of the biology and ecology of various animal taxa, as well as to the use of the data in conservation management. Overall, 927 animal taxa and 38 host plants are documented in the two special issues, of which 904 are recorded from both parks and 400 are new for one or both parks. Twelve species (ten terrestrial and two aquatic) and one genus (aquatic) are described as new for science, this increases to 30 the number of new invertebrate taxa described since 2006 from the Mercantour/Alpi Marittime parks. However, due to taxonomic uncertainty about material sorted to morphospecies and delays in species descriptions, these represent only a fraction of the taxa recognized as new during the ATBI. This faunal inventory, which includes 88% insect taxa, greatly enhances knowledge of Mercantour/Alpi Marittime biodiversity, notably for several poorly studied taxonomic groups. It also confirms the importance of the area as a European biodiversity hotspot, especially for arthropods and the groundwater fauna, by highlighting the remarkable percentage of endemic species, some of which are rare and poorly documented in the literature.


All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, Mercantour, Alpi Marittime, Alps, National Park, Natural Park, arthropods, groundwater fauna, terrestrial fauna, databases.

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