Alex Laini

Alex Laini
Università degli Studi di Torino | UNITO

PhD

About

84
Publications
23,729
Reads
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1,454
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
1211 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
January 2007 - December 2011
Università di Parma

Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions represent one of the main contemporary pressures facing freshwater ecosystems, and a better understanding of invasive species potential distributions is essential to prepare for future stressors. Crustacean invaders contribute significantly to global invasions with the Ponto-Caspian region being one of the primary donor areas f...
Article
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The monitoring of biological indicators is required to assess the impacts of environmental policies, compare ecosystems and guide management and conservation actions. However, the growing availability of ecological data has not been accompanied by concomitant processing tools able to facilitate data handling and analysis. Multiple common challenges...
Preprint
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Saline and hypersaline wetlands account for almost half of the volume of inland water globally. They provide pivotal habitat for a vast range of species, including crucial ecosystem services for humans such as carbon sink storage and extractive resource reservoirs. Despite their importance, effective ecological assessment is in its infancy compared...
Article
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Study region Albaida Valley, Spain. Study focus Rivers are experiencing a rapid biodiversity loss largely due to water quality degradation imposed by anthropogenic activities. To show the capability of modeling to inform water management at watershed scales, this research develops an eco-hydrological model of the Albaida Valley (Spain). SWAT (Soil...
Article
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Many dung beetle species show male horn polyphenism, the ability of males to develop into distinct phenotypes without intermediate forms as a response to the larval growth environment. While males with long (majors) and rudimentary (minor) horn have been widely reported in literature, little is known about the existence of individuals with intermed...
Article
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Dung beetle functional ecology has traditionally focused on studying the relation between traits and ecosystem functions in multispecies assemblages, often ignoring the contribution of behavioral interactions and trait variability within species. Here we focus on the factors that affect dung removal at an intraspecific level in two horned dung beet...
Article
Rivers are among the most threatened ecosystems worldwide and are experiencing rapid biodiversity loss. Flow alteration due to climate change, water abstractions and augmentation is a severe stressor on many aquatic communities. Macroinvertebrates are widely used for biomonitoring river ecosystems although current taxonomic approaches used to chara...
Article
Full-text available
Riverine communities have been subject to numerous biological invasion events, with crustaceans among the most successful group of invasive animals worldwide. Understanding what makes a river system prone to invasion is of considerable interest to environmental regulators, resource managers, scientists and wider society globally. The Ponto‐Caspian...
Article
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Rivers are dynamic ecosystems in which both human impacts and climate‐driven drying events are increasingly common. These anthropogenic and natural stressors interact to influence the biodiversity and functioning of river ecosystems. Disentangling ecological responses to these interacting stressors is necessary to guide management actions that supp...
Article
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Hypersaline ecosystems—aquatic environments where concentration of salt exceeds 35 g L−1—host microbial communities that are highly specialised to cope with these extreme conditions. However, our knowledge on the taxonomic diversity and functional metabolisms characterising microbial communities in the water columns of hypersaline ecosystems is sti...
Article
Habitat modelling aims to predict changes in the structure of aquatic communities as a function of habitat availability. It is a primary tool to inform management actions and to search for the best compromise between biodiversity conservation and water supply. The construction of these models requires in-depth knowledge about the main hydrological...
Article
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A greater understanding and effective management of biological invasions is a priority for biodiversity conservation globally. Many freshwater ecosystems are experiencing the colonisation and spread of multiple co‐occurrent alien species. Here the implications of both the relative abundance and richness of alien invaders on aquatic macroinvertebrat...
Article
Biological invasions could have major implications for the management and conservation of freshwater systems if they lead to a misclassification of waterbodies. However, there is limited understanding of the sensitivity of existing biomonitoring tools to invasive species in rivers; and even less known regarding how they influence community taxonomi...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers serve many societal functions and are one of the most intensively human influenced ecosystems worldwide, and, due to their importance, are included under the monitoring programs of the Water Framework Directive across Europe. Macroinvertebrates play an important role when monitoring running waters for the assessment of their environmental qu...
Article
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Taxonomic sufficiency represents the level of taxonomic detail needed to detect ecological patterns to a level that match the requirement of a study. Most bioassessments apply the taxonomic sufficiency concept and assign specimens to the family or genus level given time constraints and the difficulty to correctly identify species. This holds partic...
Article
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Freshwater ecosystems play a key role in shaping the global carbon cycle and maintaining the ecological balance that sustains biodiversity worldwide. Surficial water bodies are often interconnected with groundwater, forming a physical continuum, and their interaction has been reported as a crucial driver for organic matter (OM) inputs in groundwate...
Article
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In the last decade, large scale biomonitoring programs have been implemented to obtain a robust understanding of freshwater in the name of helping to inform and develop effective restoration and management plans. A comprehensive biomonitoring dataset on the macroinvertebrate assemblages inhabiting the rivers of the Po Valley (northern Italy), compr...
Article
According to metacommunity theories, the structure of natural communities is the result of both environmental filtering and spatial processes, with their relative importance depending on factors including local habitat characteristics, functional features of organisms, and the spatial scale considered. However, few studies have explored environment...
Article
Freshwater plants loss is one of the preeminent issues concerning biodiversity conservation, due to the alteration of inland waters by water regulation and agricultural intensification. At the same time, data suggest a relevant contribution of artificial, lowland aquatic ecosystems in supporting plant diversity. However, the underlying ecological m...
Article
Perennial streams and rivers are now largely subjected to fragmentation and lentification processes due to flow reduction, which creates a number of lateral habitats with different degrees of hydrological connectivity. These habitats have environmental conditions and biotic interactions that can be far divergent than those of main channel habitats....
Article
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Wetlands are among the most endangered ecosystems worldwide with multiple direct and indirect stressors, especially in human-altered areas like intensive agricultural landscapes. Conservation management and efforts often focus on species diversity and charismatic taxa, but scarcely consider habitats. By focusing on a complex formed by 107 permanent...
Article
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Benthic invertebrates are the most commonly used organisms used to assess ecological status as required by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). For WFD-compliant assessments, benthic invertebrate communities are sampled, identified and counted. Taxa × abundance matrices are used to calculate indices and the resulting scores are compared to refer...
Article
Lack of independence in the residuals from linear regression motivates the use of random effect models in many applied fields. We start from the one-way anova model and extend it to a general class of one-factor Bayesian mixed models, discussing several correlation structures for the within group residuals. All the considered group models are param...
Article
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Intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES) may represent over half the global stream network, but their contribution to respiration and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is largely undetermined. In particular, little is known about the variability and drivers of respiration in IRES sediments upon rewetting, which could result in large pulses of...
Article
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Groundwaters host highly adapted fauna, known as stygofauna, which play a key role in maintaining the functional integrity of subterranean ecosystems. Stygofaunal niche studies provide insights into the ecological dynamics shaping the delicate balance between the hydrological conditions and community diversity patterns. This work aims to unravel th...
Article
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Aquatic macroinvertebrates are frequently used to evaluate river system conditions and restoration project performance. A better understanding of macroinvertebrate community responses to multiple stressors is a primary challenge for river science. In this paper, macroinvertebrate responses to hydrological and water quality variability were studied...
Article
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Climate change and water abstraction may change stream flow from perennial into intermittent lotic systems, modifying their abiotic and biotic benthic environment and impacting ecosystem processes such as nutrient turnover. We conducted a microcosm experiment to investigate the interactive effect of water intermittency, macrofauna and leaf size (Po...
Article
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A small standing-water ecosystem (SWE) is a shallow (<20 m) lentic water body with a surface of a few hectares (≤10 ha). Compared to larger counterparts, they exhibit wider ecotones, sometimes even equaling their whole surface, which maximizes structural heterogeneity, supporting exceptionally high biodiversity, metabolic rates, and functionality....
Preprint
Full-text available
Lack of independence in the residuals from linear regression motivates the use of random effect models in many applied fields. We start from the one-way anova model and extend it to a general class of one-factor Bayesian mixed models, discussing several correlation structures for the within group residuals. All the considered group models are param...
Article
Groundwaters provide the vast majority of unfrozen freshwater resources on the planet, but our knowledge of subsurface ecosystems is surprisingly limited. Stygofauna, or stygobionts - subterranean obligate aquatic animals - provide ecosystem services such as grazing biofilms and maintaining water quality, but we know little about how their ecosyste...
Article
Shell-rich biodetrital carbonate lithosomes punctuate the Plio-Pleistocene marine shallow-water successions of the Mediterranean basins. These m-thick sedimentary packages often display large-scale clinostratified geometry and show a remarkable rhythmic alternation with mudstone lithosomes. Our palaeoecological analysis defines the depositional set...
Article
The aim of the present study is to analyze relationships between land uses and anthropogenic pressures, and nutrient loadings in the Po river basin, the largest hydrographic system in Italy, together with the changes they have undergone in the last half century. Four main points are addressed: 1) spatial distribution and time evolution of land uses...
Article
Under the current high anthropic pressure and climate change scenarios, a trend towards increasing changes in the trophic status of shallow lakes, and the development of opportunistic floating species is to be expected. This raises the need for monitoring and management actions to prevent widespread environmentally negative effects (e.g., anoxia)....
Article
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Ongoing socio-economic and climatic changes can differentially affect the biogeochemistry of the key nutrients nitrogen (N), silica (Si), and phosphorus (P) by altering their soil budgets, their transfer to aquatic environments and their ecological stoichiometry. This may lead to cascade consequences for aquatic communities and biogeochemical proce...
Presentation
Full-text available
Groundwater forms over 95% of liquid freshwater, and is the primary water source for many arid and semi-arid regions. However, the ecology of aquifers is poorly understood, despite groundwater fauna being proposed as regulating water quality via consumption of organics and microbes. A key obstacle is the inaccessibility of these ecosystems and thei...
Article
Lowland rivers are assumed to be a net source of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). However, little is known about the contribution of marginal permanent and temporary riverine aquatic systems to river carbon metabolism. Elevation, in relation to flooding, hydro-morphological and ecological features of such habitats, can affect the gas fluxes...
Article
Full-text available
Perennial rivers and streams make a disproportionate contribution to global carbon (C) cycling. However, the contribution of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES),which sometimes cease to flow and can dry completely, is largely ignored although theymay represent over half the global river network. Substantial amounts of terrestrialplant...
Article
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In the version of this Article originally published, the affiliation for M. I. Arce was incorrect; it should have been: ⁵Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany. This has now been corrected in the online versions of the Article.
Article
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Macroinvertebrate communities exhibit wide variability in diversity, abundance and structure on different spatial scales. Space is currently used as an explicit predictor to discriminate between environmental forcing and biotic processes on large-and medium-sized scales, but is generally neglected on smaller scales. To bridge this gap, we considere...
Article
River systems and their communities are exposed to diverse and multiple threats. Understanding how these threats affect the behaviour of biomonitoring indices is essential in order to provide reliable tools for the management and conservation of watercourses. To this purpose we tested the relationship of the STAR_ICMi index and its metrics, LIFE in...
Article
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Italy is recognized as one of the prominent hot spot areas for plant diversity at regional and global scale, hosting a rich range of ecosystems and habitat types. This is especially true considering aquatic habitats, which represent a major portion of the total water surfaces in the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, only a scant attention was pai...
Article
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p>Southern Europe hosts a large number of critical catchments for freshwater biodiversity, including endemic fish species. Unfortunately, these areas are severely threatened due to direct and indirect anthropogenic effects. In this context, with the aim to improve the effectiveness of threatened fish protection, the Life project BARBIE (LIFE13 NAT/...
Presentation
Full-text available
Groundwater ecological assessment studies have increasingly gained prominence during the last decade. In order to unravel the overall functioning of these ecosystems, it is urgently necessary to understand the aquifer recharge processes and their influence on the subsurface communities. Arid zone Western Australia calcrete aquifers have been recent...
Poster
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A pilot study aiming to analyze the small-scale distribution of macroinvertebrates, examining the different explanatory power of environmental and spatial factors in structuring community organization.
Presentation
Full-text available
This study focusses on discriminate between environmental and spatial factors in structuring macroinvertebrate communities at local scale (within mesohabitat). The studied streams (Parma, Enza and Nure streams, Po River Basin, Northern Italy) were sampled according to specific in situ sampling designs, with the creation of 50-points random sampling...
Article
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The contribution of rare taxa to aquatic bioassessments remains a subject of debate, and generates contrasting positions among researchers. Very little is known about the effect of low-abundance taxa (LAT) for calculating both single and multimetric macroinvertebrate-based indices, as well as the ecological status classification. In this study, we...
Article
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Braided rivers are among the most variable and dynamic riverine systems. Changes in these environments are sudden and frequent, driven by the high hydrological variability. They host high levels of local heterogeneity, with many different habitats in close proximity establishing a mosaic of patches. This provides the conditions for high levels of b...
Article
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p>This paper reviews the history and development of biological water quality assessment using macroinvertebrates in Italy. Italy was one of the first European countries to officially adopt a biomonitoring system based on benthic invertebrates, the Indice Biotico Esteso (IBE). After the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC, this metho...
Article
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In lowland rivers largely fed by groundwater, the aquifer resurgence plays a major role in supporting local plant diversity. However, large knowledge gaps exist with regard the role of groundwater on algal diversity and spatial arrangement. In this context, our main aim was to evaluate the distributive gradients of soft–bodied benthic algae across...
Article
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This study aims at investigating decomposition processes in wetlands that are daily or seasonally exposed to intermittent oxic and anoxic conditions. We hypothesized that in wetland ecosystems where anoxia regularly establishes, decomposition rates are not affected by oxygen shortage, especially when nitrates are available. Monitoring and experimen...
Article
Algae and aquatic vascular plants were investigated along a highly modified medium-sized lowland river (Oglio River, northern Italy). We focused on the role of fragmentation and groundwater supply in driving macrophyte assemblages, paying particular attention to soft-bodied benthic algae. Four different a priori stretch types (dammed, groundwater-de...
Article
Question: What are the short-term trends of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in deep lakes? Is it possible to measure significant changes in SAV distribution in deep lakes characterized by different trophic states and stable water physico-chemical conditions using standard procedures over a 3-yr period (2010–2013), as defined by the Water Framework...
Article
Rivers and marginal wetlands contribute significantly to the carbon (C) exchange rate per unit area compared to adjacent terrestrial ecosystems, due to high C inputs, metabolic activity and CO2 supersaturation. Within riverscapes, the contribution of emerging bottoms (i.e. parafluvial zones) and ephemeral vegetation (i.e. microphytobenthos or annua...
Article
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We analysed samples of Sparganophilus taken at the corners of its distribution area in Europe (UK, Germany and Italy). No mitochondrial genetic divergence within and amongst them was found, neither in COI nor in 16S. Further, the COI haplotype was also identical to two sequences from Ontario, Canada in the Barcoding of Life Data System (BOLD) datab...
Article
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The influence of day/night conditions on individual animal/plant species has been widely studied, but diel cycle studies of the entire stream macroinvertebrate community are extremely rare. This study explored potential dissimilarities between daytime and nighttime macroinvertebrate assemblages by extensive fieldwork conducted in the Lemme stream,...
Article
Fontanile is a Po Valley (Italy) quasi-natural lowland spring built in the middle age. This paper identifies options for the conservation of the Fontanile water dependent ecosystem, using scenarios and simulations, and exploring different policy options. Three modeling analysis have been performed: the first was carried out for estimating groundwat...
Article
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Twenty-three freshwater springs of the Po plain (northern Italy) were surveyed and visited multiple times during 2011–2013 to assess water quality and algal taxa present. Despite poor water conditions of this human-altered floodplain, a relatively high number of taxa referable to the freshwater red algae, Batrachospermum and Sheathia, were observed...
Article
Under the influence of human-driven impacts, inland aquatic habitats of intermediate to mid-high elevations may provide new areas for the establishment of lowland macrophytes that usually act as opportunistic species. Vallisneria spiralis, an obligate lowland macrophyte with an altitudinal range not exceeding 300 m, is a typical component of the pl...
Article
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We investigated with remote sensing (APEX images) the coexistence of phytoplankton and macrophytes in three interconnected shallow and hypereutrophic fluvial lakes (Mantua Lakes, Northern Italy). High concentrations of chlorophyll-a, up to60 mg m-3, were determined in the open water between well developed stands of floating-leaved, submerged, and e...
Article
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During field studies in River Mincio, northern Italy, populations of the aquatic megadrile Sparganophilus tamesis Benham, 1892 were discovered, the worms being particularly abundant among the roots of Vallisneria spiralis L. This finding represents the first record of Sparganophilidae in Italy. A morphological account, with photographs of worms and...