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Science Research

Natural diversity

Terrestrial Malacology

Since 2001, several faunistic studies and studies applied to environmental management of protected territories have been carried out, often forming part of interdisciplinary projects led by the Catalan Institute of Natural History (see the list at the end of the Publications section).

The location of these projects on Pyrenean slopes has provided continuity to the research carried out in the 1920s under the auspices of the renowned malacologist Fritz Haas. A series of six volumes dedicated to the malacofauna of the valleys of the Pyrenees is proof of the intense scientific activity in those times (see Treballs del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona Volume III – Malacología). With this comparative basis between different eras, the recent research on the fauna of molluscs in the high-mountain environment has led to considering the altitude gradient as a factor of segregation and selection of habitat by the mollusc species present.

Studies are currently being designed that are aimed at analysing the relationship between the community of molluscs and the conditions of the microhabitat, particularly the plant structure, in the context of research driven by the museum’s evolutionary ecology programme.

Research projects

  • Conference on Biological Prospecting in Catalonia

    Supported
    Department of the Environment and Housing (2010), Department of Territory and Sustainability and Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing, Food and the Natural Environment (2012), Catalan Government
    Duration
    2010-2012

    Under the coordination of the Catalan Natural History Institution and the Catalan Biodiversity Data Bank (University of Barcelona), actions have been proposed for mass prospection in place and time, of an interdisciplinary nature, to increase naturalist knowledge of the lesser known areas, as recorded in the Catalan Biodiversity Data Bank. The objective for 2010 was the area between the valleys of Cardona-Solsona and Calaf-Torà and the objective for 2012 was the natural county of Moianès.

  • El Cabrerès through the eyes of a naturalist

    Supported
    Catalan Government, Department of Culture
    Duration
    2008-2009

    In collaboration with the Garrotxa section of the Catalan Natural History Institution, an interdisciplinary study was proposed (biological, historical) on the naturalist studies previously carried out in the Cabrerès region. The Cabrerès region and the Collsacabra mountains, in the Garrotxa county, were visited in 1923 by two prestigious naturalists, Llongí Navàs and Ascensi Codina, at the behest of the director of the Barcelona Natural Sciences Museum, Pius Font i Quer. In 1924 the report appeared on the Excursió entomològica al Cabrerès (Girona-Barcelona) del 8 al 18 de juliol de 1923, authored by Llongí Navàs, S.J., as part of the series Treballs del Museu de Ciències Naturals.

    The Cabrerès region still retains all the natural attraction of almost a century ago, increased now by the ability to compare the state of nature at that time with its current state. With the aim of emulating the excursion of Navàs and Codina in current conditions, several organizations coordinate to carry out a joint cultural experience of a scientific nature and with the aim of popularizing naturalist values in our times.

  • Study of the natural systems of Les Planes de Son i la Mata de València - Molluscs

    Supported
    Fundació Territori i Paisatge
    Duration
    2006-2007

    Also coordinated by the Catalan Natural History Institution, an interdisciplinary study was proposed on the natural systems in the area surrounding the installation of the centre now known as MónNatura Pirineus, with the goal of creating an infrastructure of a basis of information on which to establish responsible management criteria for the studied area. In particular, with respect to the malacofauna, we established the basic objectives of describing the faunistic inventory, the geographical distribution of the species, and the evaluation of the organisms that could, potentially, indicate environmental quality. The project also studied the variability in fauna based on the altitude gradient.

  • Malacofauna of the Alinyà valley: fauna inventory with a view to conservation and management

    Supported
    Fundació Territori i Paisatge
    Duration
    2001-2003

    Under the coordination of the Catalan Natural History Institution, an interdisciplinary study was proposed on the natural systems in the area known as Muntanya d’Alinyà, with the goal of creating an infrastructure of a basis of information on which to establish responsible management criteria for the studied area. In particular, with respect to the malacofauna, we established the objectives of describing the faunistic inventory, the geographical distribution of the species, and the evaluation of the organisms that could, potentially, indicate environmental quality.