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Rome, Italy

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

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. Source

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

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. Source

Luiselli L.,Environmental Studies Center Demetra s.r.l. | Bonnet X.,CNRS Chize Center for Biological Studies | Rocco M.,WWF Italia | Amori G.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience

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. Source

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.

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. Source

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

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. Source

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