Bertolinoa S.,Forest and Food science |
Colangelo P.,National Research Council Italy |
Mori E.,Forest and Food science |
Capizzi D.,Regional Park Agency
Hystrix | Year: 2015
Small mammals (Rodentia, Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha) play a crucial ecological role for their distribution and importance in food chains, as well as for being considered environmental bioindicators. Thus, they represent excellent models for understanding the evolutionary processes of ecosystems, population dynamics under changing environmental conditions, and habitat vulnerabilities. However, some rodents may help the spread of human diseases and are responsible for impacts on agriculture, forestry, and ecosystems. Consequently, small mammal species are often neglected in conservation biology, and only a few of them are protected according to national and European laws and directives. In this work, we summarize open questions related to Italian small mammals and analyze conservation issues linked to these species. We address research, management and conservation priorities by considering ongoing activities and the novelties as regards the taxonomy and zoogeography. In Italy, 39 native species, including four out of six Italian endemic mammal species and one questioned as native, and 10 alien species are currently included within the category “small mammals”. Although several studies revealed that small mammals may be heavily impacted by habitat loss and fragmentation as well as forest management, only three rodents are listed in IUCN red list as “Near Threatened”, the remaining being “Least Concern”. We suggest that this may be due to the fact that pertinent information, is not translated in assessments in line with those of other taxonomic groups (e.g. bats). Conservation strategies are still inadequate, impacts of alien species still partly unknown or neglected. Thus, wide monitoring projects, ecological studies and general public involvement in conservation effort should be implemented, with the aim to amend national legislation, thus providing native small mammals with adequate protection status. © 2015, Associazione Teriologica Italiana.
Bertolino S.,Forest and Food science |
Girardello M.,University of Aarhus |
Amori G.,National Research Council Italy
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2014
Species prioritisation is an important component of conservation strategies. However, identifying species that are threatened is not easy for many taxa that lack detailed information on distribution and population trends. We propose a ranking system for small mammals, based on their degree of vulnerability and their conservation value. Scores were derived from data on life history traits and ecological requirements of individual species, with respect to their sensitivity to changes in landscape and the composition and qualities of ecosystems. Twelve variables were considered, related to the distribution, demography, ecological adaptability, and their endemism and taxonomic diversification. Rodents with the highest score values were either characteristic of mountain habitats (Apodemus alpicola, Chionomys nivalis and Marmota marmota), typical of lowlands (Micromys minutus) or forest species (dormice), and they were also short living, with few reproduction events. Top ranking Soricomorpha were endemic (Crocidura sicula, C. pachyura), range restricted (Sorex alpinus, Talpa caeca) and habitat specialists (Neomys fodiens, N. anomalus), and were further characterised by low reproduction, low dispersal ability, and restricted elevation range. The factors used in the score system were able to emphasise localised endemisms that could be recognised in the future whenever subspecies should be promoted to the rank of species. Soricomorpha, highlighted in the IUCN national red list as nearly threatened or for the absence of information, ranked at the top of our list. The methodological framework proposed here could be used when a pool of species needs to be evaluated for further investigation or conservation actions, helping by focusing on species that are more sensitive to habitat changes or have an intrinsic conservation value. © 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.
PubMed | Forest and Food science, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics Agrobiology and Pedology Research Center, Nature and Environment Management Operators s.r.l., Corpo Forestale dello Stato and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of nematology | Year: 2016
Montecristo Island is an integral natural reserve of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park (Central Italy), characterized by a peculiar assemblage of flora and fauna, with several endemic taxa, and also with a high number of alien species. During a soil survey, we found an alien Oscheius tipulae Lam & Webster, 1971 isolate, phylogenetically close to others from South America. In this article, we examined the possible pathways of introduction of this nematode. Because of the high number of alien plants in this protected area and the low desiccation survival ability of O. tipulae, we hypothesized that the presence of this alien nematode isolate may be related to the soil of introduced plants, although historical association with plant-associated invertebrates is also possible. Further studies with more populations and marker molecules are necessary to investigate the distribution of O. tipulae and the possible impact on this natural reserve.
PubMed | CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute, University of Barcelona, Forest and Food science, Naturalis Biodiversity Center and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016
Introduction of alien species may significantly affect soil ecosystems, through predation or disruption of components of native ecosystems (Winsor et al. 2004; lvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014). Land planarians have been reported as alien species in soils throughout the world and, among those, some species are considered to be successful invaders, e.g. Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963, Arthurdendyus triangulatus (Dendy, 1894), Bipalium adventitium Hyman, 1943, Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 and Dolichoplana striata Moseley, 1877 (Winsor et al. 2004; lvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014, 2015). Soil moisture status seems to be an important element for their successful invasion (Fraser & Boag 1998). In Europe at least 18 species of alien land planarians have been recorded since now and some of them are considered as invasive ones, e.g. P. manokwari (cf. Justine et al. 2014). Although the alien land planarian B. kewense has been reported to occur in many greenhouses in Italy (Bello et al. 1995), no data are available on its establishment and/or impact on natural environments. On 28th September 2014, 20 specimens (~1 individual/m2) of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Fig. 1), native to Japan, were collected under pots, branches and plastic materials in a private garden located in the center of Bologna (Emilia Romagna, Central Italy), near the urban park Giardini Margherita (4429 N, 1121 E; WGS84). Thirty plant species (both indigenous and alien), mainly cultivated as bonsai (e.g. Lagerstroemia indica L., Juniperus procumbens (Siebold ex Endl.) Miquel), were present in this shady, wet garden (25 m2). Between March 2014 and June 2015, 70 more specimens of D. multilineatum were collected at the same site, mainly at dusk and dawn after rain. Reproduction by fission and regeneration processes were observed in several of those specimens, which were kept for some time in captivity. A specimen of D. multilineatum was also collected in a garden in Lguevin (Haute-Garonne, France), which will be described in a forthcoming paper by Justine et al. (in prep.) (see also Kawakatsu et al. 2014). Specimens without a genital pore were initially ascribed to D. multilineatum on the basis of their external appearance: the dorsal surface was brownish yellow and presented five longitudinal stripes at the head plate and the neck, showing the typical appearance of the species. The middorsal stripe was widened at its anterior end, on the head plate, and at the pharynx level. The ventral pattern of the animals at the pharyngeal region was also characteristic, with the middorsal stripe widened at this level. The Italian Diversibipalium specimens used for the molecular analysis were fixed and preserved in absolute ethanol. Fragments of the mitochondrial gene COI and 28S ribosomal RNA nuclear gene (GenBank Acc. Numbers KU245358 and KU245357, respectively) were obtained using the procedure and COI primers described in lvarez-Presas et al. (2008) and Sol et al. (2013). The French specimens COI (Specimen MNHN JL177, GenBank Acc. Number KT922162) was obtained as described in Justine et al. (2015). 28S sequences of 14 Bipaliinae specimens and four Microplana species (outgroup) retrieved from GenBank were included in the phylogenetic analyses (Fig. 2). Sequence alignment was obtained by using the online software MAFFT version 7 (Katoh & Standley 2013), while ambiguously aligned positions were removed using the program Gblocks (Talavera & Castresana 2007) with default settings, excepting the minimum number of sequences for a flank position at the minimum value (set at 10) and with half of the allowed gap positions. The final alignment had a length of 1589 bp. We used two phylogenetic inference approaches: maximum likelihood (ML), using the RaxML 8.2.3 software (Stamatakis 2014), and Bayesian inferences (BI), using MrBayes 3.2.4 (Ronquist et al. 2012). The evolutionary model used, GTR+I+G, was estimated to be the best with the software jModeltest 2.1.7 (Darriba et al. 2012; Guindon & Gascuel 2003), using the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). MrBayes analyses were performed for 10-milion generation with sampling parameters every 103 and a 25% default burn-in value for the final trees. Convergence of the two runs (average standard deviation of split frequencies << 0.01) and likelihood stationarity were checked. The maximum likelihood analyses were performed under 1000 bootstrap pseudoreplicates. The phylogenetic results show a close and highly supported relationship of the Italian Diversibipalium specimens with those from Japan and South Korea that have been identified as D. multilineatum (Fig. 2). Diversibipalium multilineatum is the sister-group of B. nobile Kawakatsu & Makino, 1982, but with low support. The COI sequences of the French (MNHN JL177) and the Italian Diversibipalium specimens were compared in Geneious v. 8.0.5 (http://www.geneious.com, Kearse et al. 2012) and were found to be identical. These results indicate that the species introduced in both countries is the same, and most probably concerns the species D. multilineatum. The pathways of introduction of D. multilineatum are currently unknown, although a relationship between the horticultural trade and the introduction of alien land planarians is well known (lvarez-Presas et al. 2014 and references therein). Here we report the first occurrence of individuals of D. multilineatum outside Asia. The GenBank sequence of D. multilineatum from South Korea is not yet supported by a published description of the specimen, while it is debatable whether South Korea should be considered part of the natural range of D. multilineatum, which only seems to include Japan. In the present paper, we consider the South Korean animal to be an introduced specimen. Soil moisture status, temperature, and food availability are considered to be the main factors determining the presence of terrestrial planarians (Boag et al. 1998); the microclimatic conditions of the Italian garden were similar to plant nurseries and greenhouses, while an abundance of food was available, such as isopods [Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)], oligochaetes [Dendrobaena attemsi (Michaelsen, 1902) and several juveniles of Lumbricus spp.] and gastropods [Cernuella cisalpina (Rossmassler, 1837), Cornu aspersum (O.F. Mller 1774), Deroceras reticulatum (O.F. Mller, 1774), Discus rotundatus (O.F. Mller, 1774), Limacus flavus (Linnaeus, 1758), Milax nigricans (Philippi, 1836), Papillifera papillaris (Linnaeus, 1758), Pomatias elegans (O.F. Mller, 1774)]. Moreover, winter 2014 reached the highest temperatures and rainfall of the last two decades (source: CNR-ISAC, Bologna), thus favouring establishment and spread of D. multilineatum. The potential environmental impacts of some invasive flatworms are well documented (lvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014) and, even if these effects have not yet been assessed for D. multilineatum, the adoption of precautionary measures and of early intervention is here strongly recommended (Genovesi & Shine 2004). Finally, knowledge of the introduction pathway(s), together with the analysis of prey preference and possible impact on the invertebrate fauna, will be essential to halt or at least to limit the spread of this introduced land flatworm.
Bertolino S.,Forest and Food science |
Di Montezemolo N.C.,Forest and Food science |
Perrone A.,Wildlife Science
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2013
The niche of introduced species and that of native ones may overlap, thus causing detrimental effects on the latter through competitive interactions. We used radio telemetry to investigate habitat partitioning during the active period by the introduced American eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and the native European hare (Lepus europaeus) in sympatric conditions. Home ranges of cottontails varied from 1.1-2.2. ha in autumn to 3.0-3.6. ha in summer. In hares, home ranges were 30.5-33.8. ha in summer and increased to 49.5-85.9. ha in winter. Both species used an overall area composed of about 27% of natural habitats (i.e., meadows, woodlands, shrubby habitats, shores, and uncultivated land) and over 70% of field crops. The coexistence of the two species appeared to be facilitated by habitat partitioning. Habitat use of cottontails was characterized by a preference for natural habitats at the study area level as well as within the home ranges, while hares showed a preference for crop fields at both spatial scales and a seasonal selection of meadows within home ranges. Habitat overlap measured with the Pianka index was 0.57-0.64 in autumn and winter, and increased in summer and spring to 0.73-0.78. Our results provide evidence of different resource selection strategies adopted by these two sympatric lagomorph species. Hare populations are often found in agricultural landscapes at low-densities, while cottontails are currently spreading throughout Northern Italy to such an extent that an eradication programme appears unfeasible. In this situation, conservation measures for hares and other species should also take into consideration the presence or possible arrival of cottontails. Habitat restoration measures that would increase the amount of fallow lands and shrublands may favour cottontails more than hares. In areas where introduced lagomorphs are present, the necessity of natural open landscapes for hares may be better faced by increasing the presence of meadows, that are seasonally used by hares and not by cottontails. © 2013 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.
Testa S.,Forest and Food science |
Mondino E.C.B.,Forest and Food science |
Pedroli C.,Montagnard s.r.l
European Journal of Remote Sensing | Year: 2014
Remote sensing phenological works often use vegetation index (VI) time-series (TS). Since ground-observed phenological metrics occurrences vary by a few days from year to year, TS temporal accuracy became mandatory, but it is less strict in composite data. A technique to recover the temporal accuracy of 250 m 16-day composite VI from the MODIS MOD13Q1 product is proposed, relying on acquisition dates contained in the Composite day of the year layer. We demonstrated that the correction process signifcantly affected the VI TS during most of the year, especially in spring and autumn when the starting of season (SOS) and the end of the season (EOS) are expected. As a consequence of the TS correction process, SOS estimation showed to be affected too.
Briano R.,Forest and Food science |
Giuggioli N.R.,Forest and Food science |
Girgenti V.,Forest and Food science
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2016
The use of biodegradable films to replace traditional materials for storage in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) represents a competitive advantage in terms of sustainability of postharvest supply chain of highly perishable products such as raspberries. We evaluated the performances of three biodegradable and noncommercial films (film 1, film 2 and film 3) for storage in the experimental units (minibag) of 'Himbo Top®' raspberry fruits up to 12 days at +1°C and 95% RH. Changes in the atmosphere composition were created through the barrier materials and the fruits respiration. We evaluated the O2 and CO2 composition within each minibag, the weight losses, the colour, the soluble solid content (SSC) and the titratable acidity (TA) of stored fruits. Visual and taste evaluations were additionally performed. After 12 days of storage the weight losses were 3.05, 3.15 and 2.90% (respectively, film 1, film 2 and film 3). All films maintained passive MAP, raspberries showed a good state of hydratation but the steady state of equilibrium (O2 11.9 and CO2 11.6 kPa) was reached only at the end of storage time with the film 3. The colour resulted to be the most critical parameter to be evaluated also by the sensory analysis representing a limit to the fruits marketability.
Chiabrando V.,Forest and Food Science |
Giacalone G.,Forest and Food Science
Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Foods | Year: 2015
Edible films, as carriers of antimicrobial compounds, constitute an approach for incorporating plant essential oils (EOs) into fresh-cut fruit surfaces. Biodegradable alginate-based coatings with and without EOs were applied to fresh-cut apple, cv. Golden Delicious, in order to find healthy treatments to better preserve fresh fruit quality and safety during postharvest cold storage. Physicochemical properties (°Brix, colour and texture), polyphenoloxidase (PPO) and peroxidase activity and browning potential were determined throughout cold storage. Alginate coatings containing cinnamon oil were more effective than rosemary at inhibiting respiration rates. The addition of EOs and antioxidant was more effective than alginate alone in reducing weight loss and preserving the original colour and lightness. Moreover EOs reduce the PPO and peroxidase activity, in particular in the firsts days after processing. These results show that EOs can be used to prepare edible films for fresh-cut fruit applications. © 2014 Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Chiabrando V.,Forest and Food Science |
Giacalone G.,Forest and Food Science
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition | Year: 2015
The influence of different edible coatings on total phenolic content, total anthocyanin and antioxidant capacity in highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L. cv Berkeley and O'Neal) was investigated, mainly for industrial applications. Also titratable acidity, soluble solids content, firmness and weight loss of berries were determined at harvest and at 15-day intervals during 45 storage days at 0°C, in order to optimize coating composition. Application of chitosan coating delayed the decrease in anthocyanin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Coating samples showed no significant reduction in the weight loss during storage period. In cv Berkeley, the use of alginate coating showed a positive effect on firmness, titratable acidity and maintained surface lightness of treated berries. In cv O'Neal, no significant differences in total soluble solids content were found, and the chitosan-coated berries showed the minimum firmness losses. In both cultivars, the addition of chitosan to coatings decreases the microbial growth rate. © 2015 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.
PubMed | Forest and Food Science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of food sciences and nutrition | Year: 2015
The influence of different edible coatings on total phenolic content, total anthocyanin and antioxidant capacity in highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L. cv Berkeley and ONeal) was investigated, mainly for industrial applications. Also titratable acidity, soluble solids content, firmness and weight loss of berries were determined at harvest and at 15-day intervals during 45 storage days at 0C, in order to optimize coating composition. Application of chitosan coating delayed the decrease in anthocyanin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Coating samples showed no significant reduction in the weight loss during storage period. In cv Berkeley, the use of alginate coating showed a positive effect on firmness, titratable acidity and maintained surface lightness of treated berries. In cv ONeal, no significant differences in total soluble solids content were found, and the chitosan-coated berries showed the minimum firmness losses. In both cultivars, the addition of chitosan to coatings decreases the microbial growth rate.