Taxonomy is the first step to the understanding of biodiversity, indispensable to other
biological fields like phylogeny, ecology, biogeography and conservation
biology. However, it has been increasingly judged as inadequate to meet the present
challenge for fast aquisition of biodiversity information, needed for
conservation management and planning.
SPIDOnetGR intends to
dynamically intervene to the taxonomy impediment by presenting an efficient way
to accelerate biodiversity knowledge in one of the most important biodiversity
hotspots of Europe, Greece. The target group is spiders, especially ground
spiders, one of the most diverse taxa in the study area and the whole
Mediterranean, yet still overlooked in their use for the
identification of biodiversity hotspots, due to their challenging taxonomy and
the absence of relevant identification keys.
entangles four main institutes and affiliated scientists: the Department of
Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece (Dr.
Maria Chatzaki, coordinator of the project), the Natural History Museum of
Crete, University of Crete, Irakleio, Greece (Dr. Apostolos Trichas, in charge
of the macrophotography gallery), the Foundation for Research and
Technology, Irakleio, Greece (Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis, senior researcher and in charge
distributions modelling) and the Institute of Ecology and
Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland (Prof.
Wolfgang Nentwig, in charge of the development of a detailed database for the
spiders of Greece and its inclusion to araneae - The website Spiders of Europe).
long term aim is to develop a complete spider inventory at a national level, to
be useful for ecosystem conservation and biogeographical research. With that
goal in mind, some of our main objectives include the following:
of the main geographic gaps in the knowledge of spiders of Greece in order to
prioritize them for further study.
of the knowledge of spiders in terms of further records of existing species,
taxonomic clarification of poorly described species or description of new
of taxonomic results.
and dissemination of new arachnological knowledge through incorporating all
previous and new data into a European-wide electronic database in order to accelerate the flow of
information and increase the visibility of taxonomy for a broader public.
a dynamic flow of taxonomic information by inspiring students to the study of
arachnology and activating experts to focus on the study of the Greek
6- Add a milestone to overcome the taxonomist's impediment in a sustainable manner, by training a new generation of taxonomists with a view to synthesize information froma multidisciplinary perspective.
project has the dynamic to continue in the long term by constantly actualising
data on the spider fauna of Greece once the base for this proceedure is
optimum cost-benefit balance, the still unexplored collections from various Greek institutes,
in addition to
extensive collecting from most neglected areas of Greece, will be used to
create a mass material pool.
order to accelerate taxonomic work this material will be gradually accumulated, sorted out to family level
and processed for taxonomical identification. Taxonomic
results including new
distributions of already known species, redescriptions of poorly known species
and descriptions of new species to science will be
assessed by experts inland and abroad.
the help of the European Society of Arachnology we promote the idea of country-wise
focal arachnological research in Europe, starting from declaring the first year
of this project -2014- as “The European year of spider biodiversity
research in Greece” (http://www.european-arachnology.org/research/index.shtml). By doing so, we hope to trigger the interest of
spider experts who will be willing to collaborate by identifying spiders,
therefore establishing a dynamic research network which will simultaneously
focus on similar general objectives. Ultimately, biodiversity on a keystone
European area will be promoted, thus filling the existing gaps of knowledge.