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EU project to improve knowledge and preservation of Pontocaspian species

EU project to improve knowledge and preservation of Pontocaspian species - Κεντρική Εικόνα
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Documenting and understanding the evolution and the demise of the Pontocaspian biota.

Since the 1930s, the unique endemic aquatic biota of the Caspian-Black Sea region is facing a biodiversity crisis as it is severely affected by anthropogenic activities such as habitat destruction, invasive species and pollution.

Understanding long-term natural biotic and abiotic drivers of lake system change and biotic response to perturbations in the past two million years – i.e. gradual, rapid and/or threshold responses – is absolutely necessary to assess the current response of Pontocaspian biota to rising natural- and human-induced perturbations.

The Pontocaspian biodiversity crisis mirrors the complex global ecological and biodiversity challenge due to Global Change. This challenge can only be addressed through an integrated cross-disciplinary research involving climate, earth- and bio-sciences. PRIDE (drivers of Pontocaspian biodiversity RIse and DEmise) is a fully integrated academia-industry training network of scientists with complementary cutting-edge competences. 

PRIDE focuses on the evolution of Pontocaspian lake systems and its biota over the past two million years. The extraordinary endemic biodiversity, coupled with a high-amplitude record of palaeoenvironmental change, makes it an ideal system to study drivers of past and current biodiversity crises.

The PRIDE programme contains three Research/Training work packages (WP1 lake system evolution, WP2 Quaternary biodiversity change, WP3 Anthropocene biodiversity crisis) that each contain five projects and fourth WP managing the programme. The latter is coordinated by the PRIDE programme manager >Caroline van Impelen and programme director >Frank Wesselingh and their colleagues within Naturalis.