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Geographic Patterns

Species richness

Species richness of European Orthoptera species in Europe.

Species richness of freshwater molluscs

The geographic distribution of Orthoptera species richness in Europe is based on all Orthoptera species with extant and possibly extant occurrence (1,051 species). Southern Europe is the area with the highest species richness, particularly along the Mediterranean climate region and in the Balkans. Another biodiversity hotspot is found in the Lower Volga region. Species richness declines gradually towards more northern latitudes and north-eastern Europe due to the less favourable climatic conditions in these areas.

Endemic species richness

Distribution of endemic Orthoptera species in Europe.

Species richness of freshwater molluscs

The richness of endemic species is based on 731 species, which have extant and possibly extant occurrences in Europe. Hotspots of endemic species generally mirror those of the overall species richness, with the highest number of species present in the Mediterranean region. Many endemic species are found in montane or coastal regions of the Iberian, the Italian and the Balkan Peninsulas. Endemic species are also found in the Pyrenees, Alps and Carpathians. The low richness of endemic species in temperate Europe can be explained by the postglacial recolonisation of this region. Most species found here extend their ranges into Asia or the Mediterranean part of Europe.

An endemic species is defined here as having its global range restricted to European assessment boundaries (all regions outside these boundaries are displayed in the map in dark grey). Some Orthoptera species, for example in the Iberian or Balkan Peninsulas, also occur in neighbouring parts of north Africa and Asia, respectively and thus are not considered as endemic to Europe here.

Distribution of threatened species

Distribution of threatened Orthoptera species in Europe.

Species richness of freshwater molluscs

The distribution of threatened species is based on 275 threatened species that have extant and possibly extant occurrences in Europe. This pattern correlates with the overall species richness pattern as it is caused by the distribution of species with narrow ranges that are affected by touristic development and urbanisation (e.g., the Canary Islands, the southern coasts of Spain and France), the prevalence of wildfires (e.g., Greece, the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands) and by intensification of the agricultural practices (throughout Europe).

The lack of threatened species in temperate Europe can be explained by the fact that most species found in these areas are quite widespread, having large ranges that extend all over Europe. These species often still have large subpopulations, but some of them may be threatened at the level of the EU 28. 

Distribution of Data Deficient species

Distribution of Data Deficient Orthoptera species in Europe.

Species richness of freshwater molluscs

The distribution of Data Deficient species is based on 84 Data Deficient species that have extant and possibly extant occurrences in Europe. These species have been assessed as Data Deficient because there was not enough information to assign the species to any other Red List category. 

While there is a number of Data Deficient species in the Mediterranean region, following the overall distribution pattern, the hotspot of Data Deficient species is found in southern European Russia, where knowledge on these species is scarce due to the small number of Orthopterologists working in these regions compared to the size of the country. Similarly, research on Orthoptera has just started to increase in the southern Balkans Peninsula. Many Data Deficient species are also found on the Iberian Peninsula, as a large number of saddle bush-crickets (subfamiliy Bradyporinae) with small ranges occur there, many of which are only known from a handful of specimens. Some species are also listed as Data Deficient due to lack of information as a result of taxonomic uncertainty.