Description: Springs are mostly small but numerous and diverse habitats. They are island-like, “azonal” habitats, but range from connected to extremely isolated. They are unique ecosystems but strongly threatened by many impacts, the most important being water-resource overexploitation, ever-increasing contamination and pollution, and climate change. Springs are biodiversity hotspots and shrines for new, rare, Red-List taxa, and for Least-Impaired Habitat Relicts (LIHRe). They are also hydrologic and climatic refugia. The incredible diversity of kinds of springs and environmental settings with spatial heterogeneity at multiple scales is the main cause of high biodiversity at the landscape level. Ecohydrogeology is an essential concept in spring science, and for the understanding of spring biodiversity.

Audience: Those curious about spring environments and the incredible (diatom) biodiversity they harbor.

Cantonati, M., Hofmann, G., Spitale, D. et al. Diatom Red Lists: important tools to assess and preserve biodiversity and habitats in the face of direct impacts and environmental change. Biodivers Conserv 31, 453–477 (2022).