Conservation biogeography of freshwater fishes: Recent progress and future challenges

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Aim: To identify key research questions and challenges that will, if addressed in a timely manner, significantly advance the field of freshwater fish biogeography and conservation. Location: Globe. Methods: By drawing on expertise from different regions of the world, we integrate an illustrative conspectus of recent scientific advancements in fish biogeography with a prospectus of needed areas of scientific inquiry to identify information gaps and priority research needs to advance the science. Results: We identified the following core challenges: (1) Testing current and forging new theories in biogeography; (2) Advancing a trait-based biogeography of freshwater fishes; (3) Quantifying extinction risk and loss of fish species in a changing environment; (4) Evaluating the magnitude and geography of extinction debt for freshwater fishes; (5) Elucidating the patterns and drivers of freshwater fish invasions; (6) Forecasting the future geography of freshwater fishes; (7) Understanding the interactive effects of multiple stressors in freshwater ecosystems; (8) Quantifying new features of the biodiversity crisis: fish faunal homogenization and the emergence of novel assemblages; (9) Promoting scientific rigour in emerging freshwater fish conservation strategies and (10) Improving conservation planning strategies for freshwater fish species. Main conclusions: By reflecting on recent scientific progress in fish conservation biogeography, we have identified a set of core challenges and priorities requiring future research investment ​
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