About this Research Topic
Climate change is the most imperative global challenge, posing an existential threat to biodiversity. With rising temperatures and extreme climate events causing habitat and biodiversity loss, we are facing a daunting challenge to ensure the survival of species. Nature is declining globally at unprecedented and accelerating rates and, more than ever, we need a clear road map on how to minimize species loss. Almost 600 plant species have already disappeared in recent centuries and up to half of all plant species could face extinction by the turn of the century, especially in high diversity areas with a Mediterranean climate. The Mediterranean climate – characterized by warm dry summers and cool wet winters – covers only 2% of Earth’s land but contains extremely rich biodiversity, supporting (at least) 20% of Earth's known vascular plant diversity. However, by 2100, this area is projected to experience the highest biodiversity loss of all terrestrial biomes. Increasing conservation actions in Mediterranean regions is therefore a global conservation priority.
In this Research Topic, we seek contributions exploring new and promising solutions to conquer this grand challenge for plant species survival that can be used to inform the general society and contribute to species survival and recovery in Mediterranean climates. Authors are invited to submit original research, reviews/mini reviews, and methods covering a broad range of perspectives and applications for the conservation of Mediterranean plants, including (but not limited) to the following topics:
• Use of climate-smart conservation strategies to avoid future losses, including those affecting hidden plant biodiversity (e.g., including lichens, bryophytes, algae).
• Development of new methods and innovative ecosystem-based approaches that can increase the efficiency of recovery.
• Past recovery actions of plants as functional components of an ecosystem, including movement corridors, stepping stones, and refugia zones.
• Examples of species translocations in Mediterranean biomes as a tool to avoid extinction.
• Guidelines for monitoring and adaptive management for species recovery.
• Integrating species vulnerability and human actions into a conservation planning framework.
• Application of new genomic tools in the management and conservation of species diversity.
• Effective conservation strategies aiming to protect both species and genetic diversity.
• Integration of speciation processes into the management and protection of future biodiversity.
Keywords: climate-smart solutions, conservation actions, extinction, Mediterranean plants, species recovery
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.