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A system of five adjacent Posidonia oceanica meadows facing the waterfront of Genoa city (Ligurian Sea, NW Mediterranean) was investigated over different spatial scales (meters-kilometers) using three environmental indices: conservation index (CI), substitution index (SI) and phase-shift index (PSI). CI revealed differences mostly at large spatial scale,(More)
The upper portion of the meadows of the protected Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica occurs in the region of the seafloor mostly affected by surf-related effects. Evaluation of its status is part of monitoring programs, but proper conclusions are difficult to draw due to the lack of definite reference conditions. Comparing the position of the meadow(More)
Making nature's value visible to humans is a key issue for the XXI century and it is crucial to identify and measure natural capital to incorporate benefits or costs of changes in ecosystem services into policy. Emergy analysis, a method able to analyze the overall functioning of a system, was applied to reckon the value of main ecosystem services provided(More)
The epiphyte community structure of the Posidonia oceanica leaves in three impacted meadows occurring in urbanised coastal areas was contrasted with that observed in three meadows located within Marine Protected Areas in the Ligurian Sea. Samplings were carried out in two distinct periods, at the beginning and at the end of the summer season, in order to(More)
Eight shallow water Posidonia oceanica meadows were sampled in June 1999 along 300 km of the Ligurian coast and were compared through shoot density and lepidochronology. The growth of the seagrass was examined in the light of climate fluctuations and local stresses, colonisation by alien, invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia, and effects of the oil spill from(More)
Using the Conservation Index, which measures the proportional amount of dead matte relative to live Posidonia oceanica, we assessed the health of 15 P. oceanica meadows at a regional scale along the coast of Liguria (NW Mediterranean). These areas were characterized by different degrees of anthropization, from highly urbanized sites to marine protected(More)
The key species Posidonia oceanica is the dominant endemic seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea and its meadows are considered as one of the most important and productive ecosystems in coastal waters. Covering the seabed from the surface down to about 40 m, meadows of P. oceanica are often affected by mechanical direct damages caused by boat anchoring and(More)
Neurotransmission in Cnidarians is known to occur mainly by peptidergic neuronal pathways; the role of cholinergic neurotransmission, that in other animals this involves both neurotransmission and developmental regulation, has never been shown with certainty. This histochemical-immunohistochemical study was performed, in different developmental stages of(More)
Conservation research aims at understanding whether present protection schemes are adequate for the maintenance of ecosystems structure and function across time. We evaluated long-term variation in rocky reef communities by comparing sites surveyed in 1993 and again in 2008. This research took place in Tigullio Gulf, an emblematic case study where various(More)
Coral reefs are degrading worldwide, but little information exists on their previous conditions for most regions of the world. Since 1989, we have been studying the Maldives, collecting data before, during and after the bleaching and mass mortality event of 1998. As early as 1999, many newly settled colonies were recorded. Recruits shifted from a dominance(More)