The Other 99%: The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates
Emergent themes from the Other 99%
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The authors of the contributions to the Other 99% conference proceedings have provided a rewarding glimpse of the rich and fascinating world of invertebrate life. Many of the common themes transcended particular invertebrate groups and have become issues for all of life. The interweaving of evolutionary history and locally pressing ecologically-based management issues surfaced frequently. There are several case studies of using invertebrates in biodiversity assessment, and for those keen on elucidating ecological processes and offering management advice, there are papers on the need for experimental rigour. Invertebrate studies are often seen as too difficult because of common misconceptions about the sheer volume of species and the taxonomic impediment but these were not issues seriously hindering the studies in the papers presented here. Instead there was generally a high level of excitement about the animals involved and the issues. There was a strong link between the dedicated study of an invertebrate group and the recognition of contemporary issues in conserving biodiversity. It was arguably the most common theme, though the leadership being shown so far by most invertebrate workers lies in describing the richness of the fauna, but not what degrades it, nor how to conserve it. There was recognition that prejudices of the general public, as well as conservation agencies and fellow scientists, have to be overcome, but so do the negative preconceptions of those in editorial and financial control of media outlets.