Biocostruzioni costiere: struttura, funzione, e gestione

Progetto: Research project

Dettagli progetto


In the framework of the general project, the University of Palermo research unit (RU – UniPa) will work using the common survey protocols, focused on the collection of Dendropoma petraeum specimens for genetic analysis, collecting a significant number of cores for dating, and sampling shallow coralligenous assemblages. The specific research of RU – UniPa will be addressed to evaluate the distribution, structure and conservation of vermetid reefs. Distribution at different spatial scales (national, regional, local) will be related to the environmental factors, evaluating the preservation state taking into account the potential sources of human impact. The main objectives of the research unit are: the assessment of vermetid reefs distribution, both at national and at regional scale using the occurrence maps. The reefs distribution will be compared to the trends of water surface temperature to understand how this factor can affect the distribution at the large-scale and if it is possible, considering the limits of species distribution to formulate extinction forecasts at the national-scale. At local scale three localities will be selected and studied by high resolution mapping technique. Digital microcameras on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) will be used to take digital pictures with a ground resolution of about 3cm. From these images, integrated by recent orthophotos, some thematic maps will be created and included into GIS software. Using historical orthophotos held by of Sicilian Region it will be possible to reconstruct the evolution of vermetid reefs along a time series comparing it to the different uses of the coastal zone. For each location will be, also, identified and classified the anthropic impact sources estimating the area affected by them. The protocol to evaluate the preservation state of the reef will be applied. It will based on the analysis of macrostructural data (topography and surface complexity) and microstructural data (density of Dendropoma petraeum and microtopography). The first group of descriptors is useful to quantify the natural structural variability (scales from tens to hundreds of meters). The second group of descriptors, evaluated by digital photo-analysis (10x10 cm) and application of fractal geometry indices, will be useful to recognize the space available for the species. The protocol for the evaluation of biodiversity associated to the reefs will be applied using a not-destructive technique such as the digital photos analysis and the visual census. These two methods will be integrated with a taxonomic identification of the algal specimens collected during the sampling. For each reef mapped, 3 units of sampling (inner rim of the reef, central zone and outer rim) will be located along random transects. For each unit, 5 visual censuses (20x20 cm) or 5 digital images (20x20 cm) will be collected. Using this approach it will be possible to evaluate the effective level of biodiversity associated to the reefs and to assess difference in space related to the physical and structural factors. Thermo loggers will be placed along the reefs. These data (representing physical variations at small scale) will be correlated to the data density of Dendropoma petraeum. Accurate vermetid reef maps will be prepared and addressed to their conservation state and vulnerability, considered as the probability that a natural system can be affected by a factor to which it is sensitive. Finally, the research project it will identify preservation priorities for the Mediterranean vermetid reefs applying the gap analysis techniques

Layman's description

1. Distribuzione dei reef a vermeti presenti in Italia, utilizzando mappe di presenza, ed analisi correlativa con la distribuzione delle temperature superficiali delle acque.2. Distribuzione dei reef a vermeti in Sicilia, con la preparazione di mappe di dettaglio in un numero ristretto di siti.3. Analisi della distribuzione delle fonti di impatto antropico diretto ed indiretto.4. Valutazione della macrostruttura e della microstruttura dei reef selezionati al punto 2.5. Valutazione della biodiversità associata ai reef selezionati al punto 2, attraverso l’uso di fotografie digitali di superfici standard e censimenti visuali.6. Definizione dello stato di conservazione e della vulnerabilità dei diversi reef, secondo i criteri identificati a livello europeo.7. Gap-analysis per l’identificazione delle priorità di conservazione e per la scelta di nuovi, eventuali siti di protezione (es. SIC), con la proposta di un modello di piano di gestione.8. Collaborazione alla parte progettuale comune: a) raccolta di esemplari di Dendropoma petraeum per l’analisi genetica; b) raccolta di un numero significativo di campioni per le datazioni; c) campionamento nel coralligeno superficiale (con metodi da definire).

Key findings

Ambiente e cambiamento climatico
Data di inizio/fine effettiva2/1/132/1/16