The Biogeographic Characteristics of the River Basins of Greece

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 59)


Biogeographic regionalizations provide frameworks for a holistic understanding of river basin areas and their inland water ecosystems. Here we employ the freshwater ecoregion concept to outline biogeographic aspects of the aquatic and semiaquatic biota and river ecosystems in Greece. Emphasis is given to freshwater fishes which cannot readily disperse over mountain watershed barriers and marine areas; they are utilized as primary biogeographic indicators. Although various biogeographic regionalization maps are surveyed, the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (FEOW) initiative is adopted, and this review helps redefine certain recently published ecoregional boundaries in Greece. Along with freshwater fishes, other animal and plant distributions and knowledge of geological history and climatic patterns help guide the boundary definition of eight freshwater ecoregions in Greece. Gaps in knowledge concerning species distributions and taxonomy as well as the biogeographic understanding of each freshwater ecoregion are assessed.


Aquatic biota Conservation Freshwater biodiversity Freshwater ecoregions Freshwater fishes 



We dedicate this work to Professor Anastasios Legakis (University of Athens) who has been a careful and meticulous “curator” of zoogeographical research in Greece for a very long time. We thank all colleagues at the Inland Waters section of the Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters at HCMR who contributed in various ways to data archiving, data quality control, and biogeographic discussions. We especially thank Yorgos Chatzinikolaou for his help in the early part of this work, and we are grateful to Yorick Reyjol for the important assistance in statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine ResearchAnavissosGreece

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