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Little doubt is left that climate change is underway, strongly affecting the Earth's biodiversity. Some of the greatest challenges ahead concern the marine realm, but it is unclear to what extent changes will affect marine ecosystems. The Mediterranean Sea could give us some of the answers. Data recovered from its shores and depths have shown that sea(More)
Deep-sea hydrothermal-vent organisms are often cited as examples of adaptation to extreme environmental conditions. Since the discovery of the first 'black smokers' (the vent chimneys expelling super-heated metal-laden fluids), the polychaete worm Alvinella pompejana has been considered the invertebrate most exposed to the harsh conditions, hence its(More)
Deep-sea hydrothermal-vent habitats are typically linear, discontinuous, and short-lived. Some of the vent fauna such as the endemic polychaete family Alvinellidae are thought to lack a planktotrophic larval stage and therefore not to broadcast-release their offspring. The genetic evidence points to exchanges on a scale that seems to contradict this type of(More)
Societal concerns over the potential impacts of recent global change have prompted renewed interest in the long-term ecological monitoring of large ecosystems. The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on the planet, the least accessible, and perhaps the least understood. Nevertheless, deep-sea data collected over the last few decades are now being synthesised(More)
One of the unusual features of DNA-containing organelles in general and mitochondria in particular is the frequent occurrence of RNA editing [1]. The term "RNA editing" refers to a variety of mechanistically unrelated biochemical processes that alter RNA sequence during or after transcription [2]. The editing can be insertional, deletional, or(More)
Metabolomics has recently proven its usefulness as complementary tool to traditional morphological and genetic analyses for the classification of marine invertebrates. Among the metabolite-rich cnidarian order Zoantharia, Parazoanthus is a polyphyletic genus whose systematics and phylogeny remain controversial. Within this genus, one of the most studied(More)
Habitat fragmentation and climate change are two major threats on biodiversity. Fragmentation limits the number of patches and their decreased connectivity cannot always maintain populations at dynamic equilibrium. The natural extreme fragmentation of marine cave habitats represents an opportunity to understand how these processes interact. The hypothesis(More)
Marine organisms typically fall into two main categories: those with a high level of population structuring and those with a low one. The first are often found to be poor dispersers, following isolation by distance or stepping-stone theoretical predictions. The second are commonly associated with high-dispersal taxa and are best described by the island(More)
Mitochondrial genomes have recently become widely used in animal phylogeny, mainly to infer the relationships between vertebrates and other bilaterians. However, only 11 of 723 complete mitochondrial genomes available in the public databases are of early metazoans, including cnidarians (Anthozoa, mainly Scleractinia) and sponges. Although some cnidarians(More)