Publications by authors named "Giovanni Amori"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

ClimCKmap, a spatially, temporally and climatically explicit distribution database for the Italian fauna.

Sci Data 2019 10 8;6(1):195. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, IGG-CNR, National Research Council, 56124, Pisa, Italy.

Understanding and counteracting biodiversity losses requires quantitative knowledge on species distribution and abundance across space and time, as well as integrated and interoperable information on climate conditions and climatic changes. In this paper we developed a new biodiversity-climate database for Italy, ClimCKmap, based on the critical analysis, quality estimation and subsequent integration of the CKmap database with several high-resolution climate datasets. The original database was quality-checked for errors in toponym, species name and dating; the retained records were georeferenced and their distribution polygonised via Voronoi tessellation. We then integrated the species distribution information with several high-resolution climatic datasets: average monthly minimum and maximum temperature and total monthly precipitation were reconstructed for each Voronoi cell and year. The resulting database contains 268,977 occurrence records from 8,445 binomials and 16,332 localities, dating between 1680 and 2006 CE. This dataset, fully available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7906739.v4 and http://hdl.handle.net/21.11125/a91f85cb-befd-4e14-8e83-24f17c4a0491 , represents the largest, fully quality-checked, spatially, temporally and climatically explicit distribution database ever assembled for the Italian fauna, now ready for scientific exploitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0203-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6783616PMC
October 2019

Interactions between anthropogenic litter and birds: A global review with a 'black-list' of species.

Mar Pollut Bull 2019 Jan 21;138:93-114. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

CNR - Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Viale dell'Università 32, 00185 Rome, Italy.

The interaction of anthropogenic litter (by incorporation litter in nests, ingestion, and entanglement) with birds was systematically reviewed using Google Scholar database. A 'black-list' of 258 species was compiled. Among them 206 (79.8%) were seabirds. Four seabird orders (Gaviiformes, Phaetontiformes, Procellariformes, Sphenisciformes) showed the highest percentage of interacting species. At family level, >70% of species of Gaviidae, Diomedeidae, Sulidae, Stercoraridae and Alcidae were involved in interactions with litter. We observed (i) a significant correlation between Scholar recurrences and species citations about anthropogenic litter only when considering seabirds; (ii) a low number of references before 1981 with a bimodal pattern showing a first peak in 1986-90 and a progressively increasing trend in the 2000s. Regarding the type of interaction, there was a significantly higher percentage of species involved in ingestion when compared to the percentage involved in entanglement. We suggest the use of consolidated standardized litter nomenclature and characterization and the adoption of a logical causal chain helping researchers in defining suitable frameworks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.11.017DOI Listing
January 2019

Least speciose among the most speciose: Natural history correlates of monospecific and bispecific genera of Rodentia and Soricomorpha.

Integr Zool 2017 Nov;12(6):489-499

Department of Applied and Environmental Biology, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria and Institute for Development, Ecology, Conservation and Cooperation, Rome, Italy.

Monospecific and bispecific genera are of special concern as they represent unique phylogenetic/evolutionary trajectories within larger clades. In addition, as phylogenetically older taxa are supposed to be exposed to higher rarity and extinction risk, monospecific and bispecific genera may be intrinsically more prone to extinction risks than multispecies genera, although extinction risks also depend on the ecological and biological strategy of the species. Here, the distribution across biogeographical zones and the levels of threat to 2 speciose orders of mammals (monospecific and bispecific genera of Rodentia and Soricomorpha) are investigated in order to highlight major patterns at the worldwide scale. In Rodentia, 39.7% of the genera (n = 490) were monospecific and 17.9% were bispecific. In Soricomorpha, 44.4% of the total genera (n = 45) were monospecific and 15% were bispecific. There was a positive correlation between the number of monospecific genera and the total number of genera per family. Peaks of monospecific and bispecific genera richness were observed in Neotropical, Oriental and Afrotropical regions in rodents and in the Palearctic region in soricomorphs. Range size was significantly uneven across biogeographic region in rodents (with larger ranges in Nearctic and Oriental regions and smaller ranges in the Australian region), but there was no difference across biogeographic regions in terms of range size in soricomorphs. Most of the monospecific and bispecific genera occurred in forest habitat in both taxa. The frequency distribution of the monospecific and bispecific genera across IUCN categories did not differ significantly from the expected pattern using the total rodent genera and the multispecies genera.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1749-4877.12266DOI Listing
November 2017

Preventing species invasion: A role for integrative taxonomy?

Integr Zool 2016 May;11(3):214-28

Environment Analysis and Management Unit -Guido Tosi Research Group, Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.

Integrative taxonomy, a multi-disciplinary approach adding modern techniques to traditional morphology-based methods (e.g. molecular and morphological criteria), can play an important role in bioinvasion research to identify introduced taxa, discover pathways of introduction and inform authorities to control and prevent future introductions. The present study is the first on introduced populations of Callosciurus, Asiatic tree squirrels, known as potentially invasive species in Europe (Italy, Belgium and France). We combined molecular (mitochondrial DNA markers: CoxI, D-loop) and morphometric analysis on skulls, comparing them to the widest morphological and molecular datasets ever assembled for Callosciurus. Squirrels collected in Italy and Belgium share the same haplotypes and skull characteristics, but are conspicuously different from the French population in Antibes. Genetic data revealed close similarity between French squirrels and Pallas's squirrels, Callosciurus erythraeus, from Taiwan, China. Italian and Belgian squirrels formed an independent taxonomic lineage in genetic analyses, whose taxonomic rank needs further investigation. The morphological and morphometric characteristics of these 2 populations are, however, similar to known specimens assigned to Callosciurus erythraeus. These results may indicate a common origin for the populations found in Belgium and Italy. In contrast, French specimens suggest an independent introduction event of squirrels originating from Asia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1749-4877.12185DOI Listing
May 2016

Modern analyses on an historical data set: skull morphology of Italian red squirrel populations.

Zookeys 2014 8(368):79-89. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Environmental Studies Centre Demetra s.r.l., Rome, Italy.

Recent molecular evidence suggests that Sciurus vulgaris populations from Calabria (southern Italy) are distinct from those occurring in northern and central Italy. Here, we re-analyzed using multivariate and univariate techniques an historical dataset provided by Cavazza (1913), who documented measurements for the now extinct squirrel population from Campania. Both univariate and multivariate analyses confirmed that the sample from Calabria was homogenous and relatively distinct compared to the rest of the squirrel samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.368.4691DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904071PMC
January 2014

Threats from climate change to terrestrial vertebrate hotspots in Europe.

PLoS One 2013 16;8(9):e74989. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland ; Department of Biology and Biotechnologies "Charles Darwin", University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy.

We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21(st) century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran's I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0074989PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774810PMC
May 2014

Global habitat suitability models of terrestrial mammals.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2011 Sep;366(1578):2633-41

Global Mammal Assessment programme, Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, Sapienza Università di Roma, Viale dell'Università 32, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Detailed large-scale information on mammal distribution has often been lacking, hindering conservation efforts. We used the information from the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a baseline for developing habitat suitability models for 5027 out of 5330 known terrestrial mammal species, based on their habitat relationships. We focused on the following environmental variables: land cover, elevation and hydrological features. Models were developed at 300 m resolution and limited to within species' known geographical ranges. A subset of the models was validated using points of known species occurrence. We conducted a global, fine-scale analysis of patterns of species richness. The richness of mammal species estimated by the overlap of their suitable habitat is on average one-third less than that estimated by the overlap of their geographical ranges. The highest absolute difference is found in tropical and subtropical regions in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia that are not covered by dense forest. The proportion of suitable habitat within mammal geographical ranges correlates with the IUCN Red List category to which they have been assigned, decreasing monotonically from Least Concern to Endangered. These results demonstrate the importance of fine-resolution distribution data for the development of global conservation strategies for mammals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140734PMC
September 2011

The impact of conservation on the status of the world's vertebrates.

Science 2010 Dec 26;330(6010):1503-9. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

IUCN SSC Species Survival Commission, c/o United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.

Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world's vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth again as much in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1194442DOI Listing
December 2010

The role of habitat quality in fragmented landscapes: a conceptual overview and prospectus for future research.

Oecologia 2010 Jun 23;163(2):535-47. Epub 2010 Apr 23.

CNR Institute for Ecosystem Studies c/o Department of Animal and Human Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale dell'Università 32, 00185, Rome, Italy.

There is increasing empirical evidence that the quality of habitat patches (determined by either habitat degradation or natural heterogeneity in the quality of habitat) plays an important role in determining species distribution patterns and in regulating spatial dynamics in fragmented landscapes. However, to date, most of the debate has focused on whether or not to include habitat variables in fragmentation studies, and we still lack general conclusions as well as standard and robust research approaches. In this paper we show how a weak conceptualization of "patch quality" and the inappropriate choice of target surrogate variables (e.g., density is often used as an indicator of patch quality) have mainly produced case-specific results, rather than general conclusions. We then identify weaknesses in the inclusion of habitat quality measurements within fragmentation studies. In particular, we focus on: (1) the lack of appropriate experimental design, outlining how few studies have actually included a gradient of habitat quality in their sample; (2) the lack of fundamental information provided (e.g., lack of standard outputs), which in turn hampers the possibility of carrying out meta-analyses. We finally synthesize available knowledge from empirical studies and highlight the different conceptual frameworks needed for patch occupancy versus patch use studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-010-1623-3DOI Listing
June 2010

Molecular phylogeography of European Sciurus vulgaris: refuge within refugia?

Mol Ecol 2009 Jun 18;18(12):2687-99. Epub 2009 May 18.

Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica (INFS), I-40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy.

The red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is a well-known forest animal distributed all over Europe. Still, we are far from having a firm knowledge of the species' phylogeography. This study investigates the genetic differentiation of S. vulgaris across the species' Eurasian range, using sequence data from the mitochondrial DNA gene (D-loop, 252 base pairs, cytochrome b, 359 base pairs), and eight variable autosomal microsatellite loci genotyped for 236 individuals. The results reveal the presence of two main mitochondrial phylogroups. The first clade comprises the individuals from the region of Calabria in southern Italy, belonging to the subspecies S. v. meridionalis, while the second clade contains the remainder of the studied individuals. Bayesian analysis of microsatellite genotypes resulted in three main clusterings corresponding to the three S. vulgaris subspecies: infuscatus, meridionalis and fuscoater. Geographical distribution of mtDNA haplotypes and mismatch analysis suggest a common refugium for the red squirrel across most of its present range from which expansion happened rather rapidly. The genotype mixing of italicus with northern populations could be a residual of postglacial expansion. The lack of mixing between the Calabrian lineage and the rest of European red squirrel haplotypes can be seen as evidence for distinct histories throughout the Pleistocene. Calabrian mtDNA probably diverged in an ice age contraction and remained isolated from the neighbouring squirrel populations until very recent times.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04215.xDOI Listing
June 2009

The status of the world's land and marine mammals: diversity, threat, and knowledge.

Science 2008 Oct;322(5899):225-30

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Programme, IUCN, 28 Rue Mauverney, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.

Knowledge of mammalian diversity is still surprisingly disparate, both regionally and taxonomically. Here, we present a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status and distribution of the world's mammals. Data, compiled by 1700+ experts, cover all 5487 species, including marine mammals. Global macroecological patterns are very different for land and marine species but suggest common mechanisms driving diversity and endemism across systems. Compared with land species, threat levels are higher among marine mammals, driven by different processes (accidental mortality and pollution, rather than habitat loss), and are spatially distinct (peaking in northern oceans, rather than in Southeast Asia). Marine mammals are also disproportionately poorly known. These data are made freely available to support further scientific developments and conservation action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1165115DOI Listing
October 2008

Systematics of the Microtus savii complex (Rodentia, Cricetidae) via mitochondrial DNA analyses: paraphyly and pattern of sex chromosome evolution.

Mol Phylogenet Evol 2008 Mar 15;46(3):1157-64. Epub 2007 Dec 15.

Department of Human and Animal Biology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Via A. Borelli 50, 00161 Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2007.12.005DOI Listing
March 2008

Molecular phylogeny of the speciose vole genus Microtus (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

Mol Phylogenet Evol 2004 Dec;33(3):647-63

Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Genetics Building, Lund University, Sölvegatan 29, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden.

Voles of the genus Microtus represent one of the most speciose mammalian genera in the Holarctic. We established a molecular phylogeny for Microtus to resolve contentious issues of systematic relationships and evolutionary history in this genus. A total of 81 specimens representing ten Microtus species endemic to Europe as well as eight Eurasian, six Asian and one Holarctic species were sequenced for the entire cytochrome b gene (1140 bp). A further 25 sequences were retrieved from GenBank, providing data on an additional 23, mainly Nearctic, Microtus species. Phylogenetic analysis of these 48 species generated four well-supported monophyletic lineages. The genus Chionomys, snow voles, formed a distinct and well-supported lineage separate from the genus Microtus. The subgenus Microtus formed the strongest supported lineage with two sublineages displaying a close relationship between the arvalis species group (common voles) and the socialis species group (social voles). Monophyly of the Palearctic pitymyid voles, subgenus Terricola, was supported, and this subgenus was also subdivided into two monophyletic species groups. Together, these groupings clarify long-standing taxonomic uncertainties in Microtus. In addition, the "Asian" and the Nearctic lineages reported previously were identified although the latter group was not supported. However, relationships among the main Microtus branches were not resolved, suggesting a rapid and potentially simultaneous radiation of a widespread ancestor early in the history of the genus. This and subsequent radiations discernible in the cytochrome b phylogeny, show the considerable potential of Microtus for analysis of historical and ecological determinants of speciation in small mammals. It is evident that speciation is an ongoing process in the genus and that the molecular data provides a vital insight into current species limits as well as cladogenic events of the past.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2004.07.015DOI Listing
December 2004
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