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We used mitochondrial cyt b sequences to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Crocidura russula (sensu lato) populations across the Strait of Gibraltar, western Europe, Maghreb, and the Mediterranean and Atlantic islands. This revealed very low genetic divergence between European and Moroccan populations. The application of a molecular clock(More)
Antarctic sponges may host large populations of planktonic and benthic diatoms. After settling on the sponge, these diatoms enter its body through pinacocytes (1) and form, there, large mono- or pauci-specific assemblages. Yet the total amount of carbohydrates in the invaded sponge tissue is inversely correlated with that of chlorophyll-a. We suggest,(More)
The skeleton of the common Mediterranean demosponge Chondrosia reniformis lacks endogenous spicules; but exogenous siliceous material is selectively incorporated into its collagenous ectosome, strengthening this layer. Nevertheless, the settling of sponge buds during asexual reproduction necessitates an active incorporation of the calcareous substratum(More)
The presence of Ca(2+)-dependent, heat-stress-activated nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity in peculiarly shaped, fusiform, and dendritic sponge cells is described for the first time. The NOS activity was evidenced evaluating the conversion of radioactive citrulline from [(14)C]arginine in intact cells from two different species that are phylogenetically(More)
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation of two Antarctic sponges, Phorbas glaberrima and Tedania charcoti, showed that the exopinacoderm effects a direct uptake of benthic diatoms which settle on the sponge surface. In P. glaberrima, planktonic diatoms were also observed penetrating through the inhalant system, the primary way of feeding in(More)
The biogeography of Antarctic demosponges has been studied by dividing Antarctic and circumantarctic areas into geographic entities, and then assigning to these entities all recorded species according to literature reports. Correspondence analysis ordination based on the presence or absence of species shows the existence of a distinct Antarctic Faunistic(More)
BACKGROUND The population of Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata) has declined drastically throughout its European range due to habitat degradation and unnatural elevated mortality. There are less than 1500 breeding pairs accounted for in Europe, and the species is currently catalogued as Critically Endangered in Italy, where the 22 territories of Sicily,(More)
In social species, fitness consequences are associated with both individual and social phenotypes. Social selection analysis has quantified the contribution of conspecific social traits to individual fitness. There has been no attempt, however, to apply a social selection approach to quantify the fitness implications of heterospecific social phenotypes.(More)
Several factors promote coloniality by enhancing the fitness of colony members. In birds, spatial proximity among nests, breeder abundance and reproductive synchrony have been proposed as primary factors responsible for enhanced colonial defence and foraging success, which, in turn, enhance reproductive success. Whether these factors function(More)
We investigated the pattern of helminth species diversity in woodmouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, on western Mediterranean islands. We first performed a survey of the helminth fauna of A. sylvaticus in Sicily. Despite the small sampling effort, parasite species richness in Sicily is large in comparison with parasite species richness on other Mediterranean(More)