30 research outputs found

    Natural or anthropogenic variability? A long-term pattern of the zooplankton communities in an ever-changing transitional ecosystem

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    The Venice Lagoon is an important site belonging to the Italian Long-Term Ecological Research Network (LTER). Alongside with the increasing trend of water temperature and the relevant morphological changes, in recent years, the resident zooplankton populations have also continued to cope with the colonization by alien species, particularly the strong competitor Mnemiopsis leidyi. In this work, we compared the dynamics of the lagoon zooplankton over a period of 20 years. The physical and biological signals are analyzed and compared to evaluate the hypothesis that a slow shift in the environmental balance of the site, such as temperature increase, sea level rise (hereafter called “marinization”), and competition between species, is contributing to trigger a drift in the internal equilibrium of the resident core zooplankton. Though the copepod community does not seem to have changed its state, some important modifications of structure and assembly mechanisms have already been observed. The extension of the marine influence within the lagoon has compressed the spatial gradients of the habitat and created a greater segregation of the niches available to some typically estuarine taxa and broadened and strengthened the interactions between marine species

    Morphology of planktonic zoeal stages of Palicus caronii (Decapoda, Brachyura), identified by DNA barcoding, provides novelties to Palicoidea larval systematics

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    The zoeal development of the brachyuran crab, Palicus caronii, comprises two zoeal stages and the morphology is described and illustrated in detail. The zoeae were collected in plankton samples from the Southern Ligurian Sea (Western Mediterranean). Although the morphology of the larval stages of this species was unknown, a combination of characters allowed the zoeae to initially be assigned to the Palicidae, based on the previous unique known first zoeal description of one species of this family. Later, the identification of the larvae as Palicus caronii was confirmed through molecular analysis. The morphological features of the zoeae that characterize the Palicidae and separate them from the Crossotonotidae are confirmed. Also, the larval development comprising only two zoeal stages observed in Palicus caronii, the peculiar and uncommon carapace surface setation, and the presence of anterodorsal and posterodorsal sensory dorsal organs suggest that these characters could be common to the Palicoidea.The collection of the larval stages used in the present work was performed in the context of a project carried out with the financial support of the Italian Ministero della Salute (Research Project IZSPLV 14/14 RC). COI sequence of adult crab of Palicus caronii was obtained within the framework of the MEGALOPADN project (CGL2009-11225) funded by the “Ministerio de Economía y Competividad (MINECO)” Spanish Plan R + D + I and FEDER. Authors would like to thank Prof. Simona Bonelli, Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology (UNITO), for her support, and the entomology laboratory of Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Sciences (UNITO) for loaning the camera lucida, with a special thanks to Enrico Busato for his availability. The study was funded by the Italian Ministero della Salute (Research Project IZSPLV 14/14 RC)

    The Influence of Reduced Light on Competing Zooplanktonic Populations – Inference from Mathematical Modeling and Field Data

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    A diffusion model for the competition of three zooplankton populations is developed, that is based on earlier ideas on reduced phytoplankton abundance at large depths in the ocean, due to light absorption in the higher water layers and shading by other upper residing microorganisms. Equilibria of the diffusion-free system are analysed. A sensitivity analysis in terms of some population interaction parameters that are difficult to assess is performed. Simulations of the space-dependent system reveal th

    Multidisciplinary studies on a sick-leader syndrome-associated mass stranding of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) along the Adriatic coast of Italy

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    Mass strandings of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are rare in the Mediterranean Sea. Nevertheless, in 2014 a pod of 7 specimens stranded alive along the Italian coast of the Central Adriatic Sea: 3 individuals died on the beach after a few hours due to internal damages induced by prolonged recumbency; the remaining 4 whales were refloated after great efforts. All the dead animals were genetically related females; one was pregnant. All the animals were infected by dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) and the pregnant whale was also affected by a severe nephropathy due to a large kidney stone. Other analyses ruled out other possible relevant factors related to weather conditions or human activities. The results of multidisciplinary post-mortem analyses revealed that the 7 sperm whales entered the Adriatic Sea encountering adverse weather conditions and then kept heading northward following the pregnant but sick leader of the pod, thereby reaching the stranding site. DMV infection most likely played a crucial role in impairing the health condition and orientation abilities of the whales. They did not steer back towards deeper waters, but eventually stranded along the Central Adriatic Sea coastline, a real trap for sperm whales

    Enabling European archaeological research: The ARIADNE E-infrastructure

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    Research e-infrastructures, digital archives and data services have become important pillars of scientific enterprise that in recent decades has become ever more collaborative, distributed and data-intensive. The archaeological research community has been an early adopter of digital tools for data acquisition, organisation, analysis and presentation of research results of individual projects. However, the provision of einfrastructure and services for data sharing, discovery, access and re-use has lagged behind. This situation is being addressed by ARIADNE: the Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking in Europe. This EUfunded network has developed an einfrastructure that enables data providers to register and provide access to their resources (datasets, collections) through the ARIADNE data portal, facilitating discovery, access and other services across the integrated resources. This article describes the current landscape of data repositories and services for archaeologists in Europe, and the issues that make interoperability between them difficult to realise. The results of the ARIADNE surveys on users' expectations and requirements are also presented. The main section of the article describes the architecture of the einfrastructure, core services (data registration, discovery and access) and various other extant or experimental services. The ongoing evaluation of the data integration and services is also discussed. Finally, the article summarises lessons learned, and outlines the prospects for the wider engagement of the archaeological research community in sharing data through ARIADNE

    An investigation in the correlation between Ayurvedic body-constitution and food-taste preference

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