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Oristano, Italy

Lunghi E.,Natural Oasis | Lunghi E.,University of Trier | Lunghi E.,University of Florence | Murgia R.,Speleo Club Oristanese | And 10 more authors.
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2015

During the dry season, the European Plethodontid salamanders (genus Hydromantes) usually occupy underground environments (i.e. caves), where they can find cold temperatures and high moisture. Hydromantes breed in hypogean environments, where they usually lay eggs in hidden shelters. Mothers perform a long-lasting parental care of the eggs, which also continues after hatching. Due to the cryptic habitat and behaviour, their breeding biology is poorly known. Most of the available data refer to observations in captivity, while data from wild populations are scarce and deal with the findings of single nests. Here we report the first study on the Imperial cave salamander H. imperialis nesting ecology and behaviour, by performing quantitative observations on multiple nests. We found four nests in a cave located in Central Sardinia. We monitored them through five months, recording environmental features. Nests were associated with cold, humid and dark sectors of the cave, but sectors with nests did not show greater climatic stability than the superficial ones. Nests were continuously attended by females; temporary desertion became more frequent when temperatures were high and it was later in the season. Newborns were attended by their mothers for up to 52 days after hatching. The comparison of breeding biology across multiple Hydromantes species suggests earlier hatch in population/species living in warmer areas, with similar post-hatch brood attendance among species. © NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2015. Source

Vandeperre F.,University of The Azores | Higgins R.M.,University of The Azores | Sanchez-Meca J.,University of Murcia | Maynou F.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | And 22 more authors.
Fish and Fisheries | Year: 2011

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are often promoted as tools for biodiversity conservation as well as for fisheries management. Despite increasing evidence of their usefulness, questions remain regarding the optimal design of MPAs, in particular concerning their function as fisheries management tools, for which empirical studies are still lacking. Using 28 data sets from seven MPAs in Southern Europe, we developed a meta-analytical approach to investigate the effects of protection on adjacent fisheries and asking how these effects are influenced by MPA size and age. Southern European MPAs showed clear effects on the surrounding fisheries, on the 'catch per unit effort' (CPUE) of target species, but especially on the CPUE of the marketable catch. These effects depended on the time of protection and on the size of the no-take area. CPUE of both target species and the marketable catch increased gradually by 2-4% per year over a long time period (at least 30years). The influence of the size of the no-take area appeared to be more complex. The catch rates of the entire fishery in and around the MPA were higher when the no-take areas were smaller. Conversely, catch rates of selected fisheries that were expected to benefit most from protection increased when the no-take area was larger. Our results emphasize the importance of MPA size on its export functions and suggest that an adequate, often extended, time frame be used for the management and the evaluation of effectiveness of MPAs. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Oliva S.,University of Sassari | Farina S.,International Marine Center | Pinna S.,University of Sassari | Guala I.,International Marine Center | And 4 more authors.
Marine Environmental Research | Year: 2016

Sea urchins may deeply shape the structure of macrophyte-dominated communities and require the implementation of sustainable management strategies. In the Mediterranean, the identification of the major recruitment determinants of the keystone sea urchin species Paracentrotus lividus is required, so that source areas of the populations can be identified and exploitation or programmed harvesting can be spatially managed. In this study a collection of eight possible determinants, these encompassing both the biotic (larvae, adult sea urchins, fish, encrusting coralline algae, habitat type and spatial arrangement of habitats) and abiotic (substrate complexity and nutritional status) realms was considered at different spatial scales (site, area, transect and quadrat). Data from a survey including sites subject to different levels of human influence (i.e. from urbanized to protected areas), but all corresponding to an oligotrophic and low-populated region were fitted by means of a generalized linear mixed model. Despite the extensive sampling effort of benthic quadrats, an overall paucity of recruits was found, recruits being aggregated in a very small number of quadrats and in few areas. The analysis of data detected substrate complexity, and adult sea urchin and predatory fish abundances as the momentous determinants of Paracentrotus lividus recruitment. Possible mechanisms of influence are discussed beyond the implications of conservation management. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Claudet J.,University of Salento | Claudet J.,University of Perpignan | Osenberg C.W.,University of Florida | Domenici P.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | And 19 more authors.
Ecological Applications | Year: 2010

Marine reserves are assumed to protect a wide range of species from deleterious effects stemming from exploitation. However, some species, due to their ecological characteristics, may not respond positively to protection. Very little is known about the effects of life history and ecological traits (e.g., mobility, growth, and habitat) on responses of fish species to marine reserves. Using 40 data sets from 12 European marine reserves, we show that there is significant variation in the response of different species of fish to protection and that this heterogeneity can be explained, in part, by differences in their traits. Densities of targeted sizeclasses of commercial species were greater in protected than unprotected areas. This effect of protection increased as the maximum body size of the targeted species increased, and it was greater for species that were not obligate schoolers. However, contrary to previous theoretical findings, even mobile species with wide home ranges benefited from protection: the effect of protection was at least as strong for mobile species as it was for sedentary ones. Noncommercial bycatch and unexploited species rarely responded to protection, and when they did (in the case of unexploited bentho-pelagic species), they exhibited the opposite response: their densities were lower inside reserves. The use of marine reserves for marine conservation and fisheries management implies that they should ensure protection for a wide range of species with different life-history and ecological traits. Our results suggest this is not the case, and instead that effects vary with economic value, body size, habitat, depth range, and schooling behavior. © 2010 by the Ecological Society of America. Source

Ghisaura S.,Porto Conte Ricerche S. r. l. | Loi B.,International Marine Center | Loi B.,University of Tuscia | Biosa G.,Porto Conte Ricerche S. r. l. | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2016

The reproductive stage of Paracentrotus lividus strongly influences product quality that, in turn, impacts significantly on the market price. Large, compact and sweet gonads are preferred, and sensory attributes are positively related to the ratio of nutritive phagocytes to gametes. Gonads at advanced maturation stages, although larger, have less desirable attributes, being more watery and bitter especially in females. Therefore, the best compromise among size, texture, and taste needs to be reached. In this study, wild P. lividus were collected along coastal Sardinia, and gonads in the recovery, pre-mature, mature, and spent stages were analyzed by gel-based and by shotgun proteomics. A detailed characterization of the proteome changes occurring in gonads of both sexes along maturation was achieved, and significant modifications were seen in numerous proteins involved in nutrient accumulation in nutritive phagocytes, as well as in gamete biology and maturation. Adding to an improved understanding of the P. lividus reproductive cycle in its natural environment, the results described in this work may form the basis for defining novel protein markers and procedures for an easier sexing and staging, and for monitoring sea urchin gonad maturation cycles in aquaculture plants. Mass spectrometry data are deposited in ProteomeXchange (. PXD004200). Significance: The sensory quality of P. lividus gonads is strongly influenced by the reproductive cycle, with significant changes in flavor, texture, and size. A better knowledge of the protein profiles, patterns, and markers associated with gonad sex and maturation stage can have useful implications for understanding and monitoring these changes. One of these is the ability to identify protein profiles specifically associated with a given stage and, in perspective, to identify maturation and sex markers.The comprehensive proteomic evaluation achieved in this work was made possible by the application of combined gel-based and shotgun approaches. As a result, this study generated the largest proteomic dataset available in the literature for P. lividus, as well as a general picture of protein abundance changes occurring along maturation. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

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