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Picciulin M.,University of Trieste | Calcagno G.,University of Trieste | Sebastianutto L.,Valle Ca Zuliani Societa Agricola Srl | Bonacito C.,Regione Piemonte Direzione Ambiente | And 3 more authors.
Bioacoustics | Year: 2013

Calls emitted by the brown meagre Sciaena umbra (L., fam. Sciaenidae) were recorded at the Natural Marine Reserve of Miramare (Trieste, Italy) in seven nocturnal surveys (12-h continuous sampling) during the summer of 2009. Calls consist of pulses, with the main energy content below 2 kHz and mean peak frequency of c. 270 Hz. Pulses were short, with an average duration of 20 ms and a pulse period of 100 ms. Sounds lasted approximately 500 ms. Three types of sound patterns were recognized: irregular (I), regular (R) and the chorus (C). Their acoustic parameters are described showing that I, R and C differ in pulse duration, pulse peak frequency and pulse period. Occurrence of the three call types changes throughout the night: the R pattern occurred mainly at dawn and dusk, C predominated after nightfall, while I calls were produced sporadically during the whole nocturnal period. Our results indicate that S. umbra has a pronounced nocturnal rhythm in vocalizing behaviour and highlight how the diagnostic time-frequency pattern of S. umbra calls can be used to identify the species in the field. Considering that the abundance of S. umbra is currently declining, the information presented here will be relevant in developing non-invasive and low-cost monitoring acoustic systems for managing S. umbra conservation and fishery along the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-07-2015 | Award Amount: 6.65M | Year: 2016

The project MERCES is focused on the restoration of different degraded marine habitats, with the aim of: 1) assessing the potential of different technologies and approaches; 2) quantifying the returns in terms of ecosystems services and their socio-economic impacts; 3) defining the legal-policy and governance frameworks needed to optimize the effectiveness of the different restoration approaches. Specific aims include: a) improving existing, and developing new, restoration actions of degraded marine habitats; b) increasing the adaptation of EU degraded marine habitats to global change; c) enhancing marine ecosystem resilience and services; d) conducting cost-benefit analyses for marine restoration measures; e) creating new industrial targets and opportunities. To achieve these objectives MERCES created a multi-disciplinary consortium with skills in marine ecology, restoration, law, policy and governance, socio-economics, knowledge transfer, dissemination and communication. MERCES will start from the inventory of EU degraded marine habitats (WP1), conduct pilot restoration experiments (WP2, WP3, WP4), assess the effects of restoration on ecosystem services (WP5). The legal, policy and governance outputs will make effective the potential of marine restoration (WP6) and one dedicated WP will assess the socio-economic returns of marine ecosystems restoration (WP7). The transfer of knowledge and the links with the industrial stakeholders will be the focus of WP8. The results of MERCES will be disseminated to the widest audience (WP9). The project will be managed through a dedicated management office (WP10). MERCES will contribute to the Blue Growth by: i) improving the EU scientific knowledge on marine restoration, ii) contributing to EU Marine Directives; iii) implementing the Restoration Agenda, iv) enhancing the industrial capacity in this field, v) increasing the competitiveness of EU in the world market of restoration, and vi) offering new employment opportunities.


Luiselli L.,Environmental Studies Center Demetra s.r.l. | Bonnet X.,CNRS Chizé Center for Biological Studies | Rocco M.,W.W.F. Italia | Amori G.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Biotropica | Year: 2012

Pythons are harvested for the international leather industry and pet trade. We analyzed the CITES export records (1999-2008) of the most intensively commercialized wild pythons (Python regius, Python sebae, Python reticulatus, Python molurus, Python curtus species complex) from African and Asian countries where reliable data on trade rates and ecology are available. Mean declared annual numbers of exported pythons were 30,000 in five African countries and 164,000 in Indonesia. Trade intensity tripled in Indonesia over the last decade, but declined in Africa. African international trade is exclusively associated with the pet market (mainly United States and Europe), whereas Asian pythons are sold mostly for luxury leather, albeit more recently also for the pet trade. A negative correlation between the annual numbers of pythons traded in Africa vs. Asia suggests a rapid and recent shift of the pressure exerted on wild populations in the two main exporting continents. We also found a strong effect of the currency exchange rate (i.e., U.S.$/€, the currencies used by the major importing countries) on African python exports: when the cost per African python increased, importers relied increasingly on Asian providers for pet trade. Overall, our data indicate that Asian pythons (especially P. reticulatus) might be threatened due to the rapidly increasing pressure, whereas the decreasing international trade in African pythons is likely more sustainable. © 2011 The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2011 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.


Buscaino G.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Filiciotto F.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Buffa G.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Di Stefano V.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2012

This study describes the underwater acoustic behavior of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii. The study was conducted both in a tank and in the natural environment. The tank was equipped with video and acoustic recording systems. Observations were conducted to identify the underwater acoustic signals produced and their association with behavioral events and the movement status of the animals. In a lake in a natural reserve, a remote acoustic recording station was used to study the circadian underwater acoustic activity of the crayfish and to assess the acoustic features of the signals. The red swamp crayfish produces irregular trains of wide-band pulses (duration 0.4 ms, SPLPK 128 dB re 1 μPa, peak frequency 28 kHz, bandwidth RMS 20 kHz). The production of signals is positively related to intraspecific interactions (encounter/approach, fighting and successive Tail Flips). In the natural environment, acoustic activity is almost absent during the day, increases abruptly at sunset and continues until dawn. This study reveals the previously unknown underwater acoustic signals of Procambarus clarkii and the potential of passive acoustic methods to monitor the presence, the abundance and the behavioral activities of this invasive species. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.


Rodriguez-Rodriguez D.,University of Plymouth | Martinez-Vega J.,Institute Economia | Tempesta M.,WWF Italia | Otero-Villanueva M.M.,Center for Mediterranean Cooperation
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2015

SUMMARY Protected areas are regarded as the main strategy to halt biodiversity loss; however, protected area effectiveness evaluations remain scarce and mostly rely on limited scientific evidence. Protected area managers from two case studies in the Mediterranean basin biodiversity hotspot (networks of Spanish terrestrial protected areas and individual Mediterranean marine protected areas) were surveyed to assess the use of two protected area evaluation systems: the 'System for the Integrated Assessment of Protected Areas' (SIAPA) and the 'System for Quick Evaluation of Management in Mediterranean MPAs' using the 'Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development' framework. A second survey in Spain ascertained the degree of implementation of protected area evaluation systems and the institutional interest in implementing such systems. The main weaknesses attributable to the systems presented were limited salience (for the SIAPA) and legitimacy in terms of costs (for the System for Quick Evaluation of Management in Mediterranean MPAs). However, the main reasons for the limited uptake of the evaluation systems presented were not attributable to the systems themselves, but to management or institutional limitations: the lack of basic data for and weak institutional interest in evaluation in Spain, and the scarce resources available for evaluation in the case of some Mediterranean marine protected areas. Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2015.


Celi M.,University of Palermo | Filiciotto F.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Parrinello D.,University of Palermo | Buscaino G.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2013

This study examined the effects of an acoustic stimulus on the haemolymph and agonistic behaviour of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii. The experiment was conducted in a tank equipped with a video recording system using six groups (three control and three test groups) of five adult crayfish (30 specimens in total). After 1h of habituation, the behaviour of the crayfish was monitored for 2'h. During the second hour, the animals in the test groups were exposed to a linear sweep (frequency range 0.1-25kHz; peak amplitude 148'dBrms're.'1'μPa at 12'kHz) acoustic stimulus for 30min. Exposure to the noise produced significant variations in haemato-immunological parameters as well as a reduction in agonistic behaviour.


Sebastianutto L.,International School for Advanced Studies | Picciulin M.,Etho ecology Marine Laboratory | Picciulin M.,University of Trieste | Costantini M.,WWF Italia | Ferrero E.A.,University of Trieste
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2011

Gobius cruentatus emit sounds during agonistic interactions. In order to evaluate the effect of boat noise exposure on G. cruentatus territorial behaviour, we played a field-recorded diesel engine boat noise during aggressive encounters between an intruder and a resident fish in a laboratory-controlled tank. We tested two factors: role (resident vs. intruder) and condition (noisy vs. silent); the test animals underwent all the treatments in a round-robin design. Agonistic behavior of the residents was modified by boat noise: during the playback residents were more submissive and won less encounters than in the control (silent) condition. We suggest that sound production is an effective tool for territorial defense, since the impairment of acoustic communication due to the recreational boat noise diminished the ability of the resident to maintain its territory. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Romano A.,WWF Italia | Bartolomei R.,WWF Italia | Conte A.L.,WWF Italia | Fulco E.,Studio Naturalistico Milvus
Acta Herpetologica | Year: 2012

Italy is the European country with the highest amphibian richness and endemism. However distributional data from some Southern Italy areas are scanty, in particularly for the Basilicata region. In this study, we present the results of field and bibliographic survey on the amphibians of the "Appennino Lucano, Val d'Agri e Lagonegrese" National Park (almost 70,000 ha). We recorded breeding activity of 12 amphibian species in 307 sites, for a total of 493 records. For some endemic species we provide new ecological data, such as new altitudinal limit (Salamandrina terdigitata) or expansion of the annual activity cycle (Bombina pachypus). Indices of diffusion, density and rarity were applied to test the status of each species in the Park. Correspondence analyses showed a clear aquatic habitat partitioning between anurans and urodelans and, concerning the latter, between newts and salamanders, newts being strictly dependent on artificial water bodies. Our results support the growing idea, recently formalized by the IUCN, that maintaining and restoring artificial water bodies may be fundamental for an appropriate conservation management of amphibian communities in Mediterranean rural landscapes. © Firenze University Press.


Ardenghi N.M.G.,University of Pavia | Trentin M.,WWF Italia | Trivellini G.,Social Cooperative Eliante | Orsenigo S.,University of Pavia
Acta Botanica Gallica | Year: 2014

Lycopus lucidus Turcz. ex Benth. var. hirtus Regel (Lamiaceae), a neophyte native to Asia, is recorded for the first time in Europe. A naturalized population was discovered in the Milan railway area (Italy). Diagnostic characters and an updated identification key for the genus Lycopus in Europe are presented. Furthermore, the invasive status and the possible means of introduction are discussed. © 2014 Société botanique de France.

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