The special issue on biogeography of the Carpathians available online

Recently was published special issue of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society with title „Biogeography of the Carpathians: evolutionary and spatial facets of biodiversity (2016, vol. 109, No. 3; see It contains 11 papers based on presentations in the First Interdisciplinary Symposium ‘Biogeography of the Carpathians: Evolution of Biodiversity in a Spatiotemporal Context’, which took place in Kraków (Poland) from 28 to 30 September 2013. The initiative reflected the importance of the Carpathians as a hotspot of biodiversity, the renewed interest in advancing biogeographical studies in this region with modern tools at hand, and the need for a forum for exchange of ideas. The meeting objectives were to discuss these issues from the perspectives of different methodological approaches and proxies across plants, animals, and fungi. The main aim was to provide a timely overview of recent advances on the evolution of the Carpathian biota in the spatiotemporal context. The main topics included history and future of species range shifts, mechanisms of diversification and spatial distribution of the Carpathian biodiversity, identification and conservation of biodiversity hot spots across the Carpathian arc, and, the biogeographical relationships of the Carpathians to adjacent areas, other Eurasian mountain ranges, and the Arctic. Abstracts of presented contributions can be found in Acta Biologica Cracoviensia, series Botanica, Volume 55, Supplement 1, 2013.

Three papers of the special issue present distribution analyses that provide insights into current patterns of biodiversity in the Carpathians, their correlation with historical and environmental features, and also links with adjacent regions. Two papers focus on endemic species that are key indicators of the unique regional richness important for our understanding of biodiversity and its drivers. One study contributes to our knowledge of Holocene vegetation changes and human presence in the region through a multiproxy palaeoecological reconstruction of the relatively biologically unexplored north-eastern foothills of the Carpathians. Three papers present phylogeographical/phylogenetic case studies either focused on the Carpathians or placing Carpathian populations in a wider context and using molecular tools to explore historical processes and present-day biodiversity. The special issue complete two papers, one of the presents a fine-scale genetic study of bank vole populations from north of the Carpathians, the second one present a detailed cytogeographical survey, a field with a strong tradition in Carpathian studies and recently reinvigorated by the availability of new tools such as flow cytometry. Some papers are focused to individual groups of organisms, namely vascular plants, forest land snails, cave Collembola, groundwater Copepoda, Diptera, and small mammals.

Information based on: Mráz et Ronikier, 2016, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society

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