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Antonio Di Franco

Antonio Di Franco
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Sicily, Palermo · Integrative Marine Ecology

Researcher

About

116
Publications
43,604
Reads
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2,784
Citations
Citations since 2016
76 Research Items
2268 Citations
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Introduction
Marine ecologist, I specialize in marine conservation, fish ecology and coastal socio-ecological systems. My main fields of scientific interest are: assessing fish population connectivity (dispersal and movement patterns); otolith microchemistry; planning and assessing effective networks of MPAs; fish early life history traits; assessing effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs); investigating small scale fisheries and their ecological and human dimensions
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - July 2019
Université de Nice - Sophia Antipolis
Position
  • Postdoc Researcher
January 2008 - December 2012
Università del Salento
January 2003 - present
Università degli Studi di Palermo

Publications

Publications (116)
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have largely proven to be effective tools for conserving marine ecosystem, while socio-economic benefits generated by MPAs to fisheries are still under debate. Many MPAs embed a no-take zone, aiming to preserve natural populations and ecosystems, within a buffer zone where potentially sustainable activities are allowed...
Article
Marine protected areas (MPAs) socio-ecological effectiveness depends on a number of management and governance elements, among which stakeholder engagement and community support play key roles. Collaborative conservation initiatives that engage stakeholders in action research and knowledge co-production processes can enhance management and governanc...
Article
Achieving sound management of small‐scale fisheries (SSFs) is globally recognized a key priority for sustaining livelihoods, local economies, social wealth and cultural heritage in coastal areas. The paucity of information on SSFs often prevents the proper assessment of different socio‐ecological aspects, potentially leading to draw inappropriate c...
Article
Full-text available
Elasmobranchs are heavily impacted by fishing. Catch statistics are grossly underestimated due to missing data from various fishery sectors such as smallscale fisheries. Marine Protected Areas are proposed as a tool to protect elasmobranchs and counter their ongoing depletion. We assess elasmobranchs caught in 1,256 fishing operations with fixed ne...
Article
Full-text available
In bipartite life cycle fishes, spawning represents the onset of propagules dispersal, with eggs and larvae experiencing anisotropic transport and high mortality rates, before eventually metamorphosing and settling. Hence, early‐life stages operate as bottlenecks for population demography by strongly constraining recruitment. Despite its significan...
Article
Global warming is enabling tropical invaders to expand into regions, where unsuitable climate conditions used to prevent the survival or reproduction. Here, using the occurrence data of 22 Lessepsian fish in the Mediterranean Sea, we aimed at (1) gaining a deeper understanding of temperature match dynamics over the spatio-temporal spread of each in...
Article
Full-text available
The ClimateFish database collates abundance data of 15 fish species proposed as candidate indicators of climate change in the Mediterranean Sea. An initial group of eight Mediterranean indigenous species (Epinephelus marginatus, Thalassoma pavo, Sparisoma cretense, Coris julis, Sarpa salpa, Serranus scriba, Serranus cabrilla and Caranx crysos) with...
Article
Full-text available
Prey fish cohabit with specialized predator fish within structurally complex habitats. How the vertical stratification of the habitat affects lethal and behavioral predator–prey interactions and contributes to explaining these patterns has never been investigated within a forest-like marine habitat, i.e., a habitat containing three vertical strata...
Article
Full-text available
Local, regional and global targets have been set to halt marine biodiversity loss. Europe has set its own policy targets to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of marine ecosystems by implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) across member states. We combined an extensive dataset across five Mediterranean ecoregions including...
Article
This paper presents a characterisation of the fishing fleet operating in Campania, one of the twenty administrative Regions of Italy. An analysis of the contribution of the regional fleet to the national fishing capacity is also provided.. The fleet is characterised according to its technical features (number of vessels, tonnage, engine power, leng...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarctica is a key species in the Southern Ocean ecosystem, and it is potentially threatened by the climate change affecting Antarctic ecosystems. Assessing the possible exposure to similar or different environmental conditions at early life stages and gathering information about connectivity or segregation be...
Article
Full-text available
Global change is striking harder and faster in the Mediterranean Sea than elsewhere, where high levels of human pressure and proneness to climate change interact in modifying the structure and disrupting regulative mechanisms of marine ecosystems. Rocky reefs are particularly exposed to such environmental changes with ongoing trends of degradation...
Article
Full-text available
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been proved to effectively protect and restore fish assemblages. There is mixed evidence regarding the effects of MPAs on benthic assemblages, habitat complexity, and how protection might mediate the effects of habitat features (including biotic and abiotic components) on fish assemblages, with very little informa...
Article
Ocean acidification (OA) may induce major shifts in the structure and function of coastal marine ecosystems. Studies in volcanic CO2 vents, where seawater is naturally acidified, have reported an overall simplification of fish assemblages structure, while some primary producers are likely to increase their biomass under elevated concentration of CO...
Article
Robust assessments of taxonomic and functional diversity are essential components of research programmes aimed at understanding current biodiversity patterns and forecasting trajectories of ecological changes. Yet, evaluating marine biodiversity along its dimensions is challenging and dependent on the power and accuracy of the available data collec...
Article
Marine noise pollution (MNP) can cause a multitude of impacts on many organisms, but information is often scattered and general outcomes difficult to assess. We have reviewed the literature on MNP impacts on Mediterranean fish and invertebrates. Both chronic and acute MNP produced by various human activities - e.g. maritime traffic, pile driving, a...
Article
• The overexploitation of many marine resources and ecosystems calls for the development and implementation of measures to support their recovery and conservation. • The potential contributions to support fisheries and ecosystem recovery were assessed at the local level of the three multiple‐use marine protected areas (MPAs) of Cerbère‐Banyuls, Med...
Article
Overfishing may seriously impact fish populations and ecosystems. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, yet the fisheries benefits remain debateable. Many MPAs include a fully protected area (FPA), restricting all activities, within a partially protected area (PPA) where potentially sust...
Article
Most fish stocks worldwide are fished at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) or overfished, as many fisheries management strategies have failed to achieve sustainable fishing. Identifying effective fisheries management strategies has now become urgent. Here, we developed a spatially‐explicit metapopulation model accounting for population connectivity i...
Article
The current alarming state of many coastal ecosystems and fisheries calls for the development of tools to support recovery of exploited stocks, ensure their sustainable exploitation and protect marine ecosystems. Multi-zone Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are often advocated to reconcile conservation and fisheries benefits. However, while there is a...
Article
Full-text available
Casting light on how the interaction between protection and density dependence affects fish population dynamics is critical for understanding the effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs). We developed a framework based on nonparametric statistics, model selection and multi-model inference to contrast alternative hypotheses about the effect of...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas are central to biodiversity conservation. For marine fish, marine protected areas (MPAs) often harbour more individuals, especially of species targeted by fisheries. But precise pathways of biodiversity change remain unclear. For example, how local‐scale responses combine to affect regional biodiversity, important for managing spati...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of the Red Sea Mantis shrimp Erugosquilla massavensis (Kossmann, 1880) is here reported for the first time from the southeastern Ionian Sea (Zakynthos Island, Greece). This record is the first evidence of the presence of a Lessepsian migrant crustacean in the aforementioned area while it fills the gap in the ongoing westward and northw...
Article
Full-text available
The global rush to develop the ‘blue economy’ risks harming both the marine environment and human wellbeing. Bold policies and actions are urgently needed. We identify five priorities to chart a course towards an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable blue economy.
Article
The ecological management effectiveness (EME) of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is the degree to which MPAs reach their ecological goals. The significant variability of EME among MPAs has been partly explained by MPA design, management and implementation features (e.g. surface area, enforcement, age of protection). We investigated EME variability by...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluates the fishing pressure exerted by the most common recreational and professional, small-scale fishing practices on vulnerable target and bycatch species in coastal and offshore waters of the western Mediterranean. By combining multiple data sources, we assembled a unique dataset on catches at multiple sites in these areas by recre...
Article
Full-text available
Local support is important for the longevity of conservation initiatives. The literature suggests that perceptions of ecological effectiveness, social impacts, and good gov-ernance will influence levels of local support for conservation. This paper examines these relationships using data from a survey of small-scale fishermen in 11 marine protected...
Article
Ocean acidification (OA) may have varied effects on fish eco-physiological responses. Most OA studies have been carried out in laboratory conditions without considering the in situ pCO2/pH variability documented for many marine coastal ecosystems. Using a standard otolith ageing technique, we assessed how in situ ocean acidification (ambient, versu...
Article
1. A number of policy measures have been adopted to cope with ongoing ocean degradation. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are among them. MPAs and their coverage have increased worldwide, including in EU waters. Natura 2000 (Nat2000) sites are at the core of the EU biodiversity conservation strategy and have been established to protect habitats and sp...
Article
Full-text available
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an essential tool for marine biodiversity conservation. Yet, their effectiveness in protecting marine ecosystems from global stressors is debated. Biological invasions are a major driver of global change, causing biodiversity loss and altering ecosystem functioning. Here, we explored the relationships between MPAs...
Article
Full-text available
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.
Article
Full-text available
When properly managed, marine protected areas (MPAs) serve as tools that are potentially able to deliver both conservation and fisheries benefits. This is particularly true for small-scale fisheries (SSFs) when fishermen are engaged in management and collaborate with MPA managers and scientists. Small-scale fisheries are widespread along Mediterran...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite recreational fisheries (RF) are often considered to have less ecological impact than other fisheries, from a biological standpoint there are several characteristics of these fisheries that threaten the sustainability of vulnerable fish species that have received little attention. This presentation summarizes the main conclusions from differ...
Article
Commercial small-scale fishing in the Mediterranean Sea accounts for more than 80% of the commercial fishing fleet. Commercial small-scale fishing competes with non-professional fishing, such as recreational and illegal fishing. Fisheries statistics usually fail to report non-professional fishing data. The aim of this study was to investigate the c...
Article
Full-text available
Dark marine habitats are often characterized by a food-limited condition. Peculiar dark habitats include marine caves, characterized by the absence of light and limited water flow, which lead to reduced fluxes of organic matter for cave-dwelling organisms. We investigated whether the most abundant and common cave-dwelling fish Apogon imberbis has t...
Article
Resource monitoring is a key issue in ecosystem management especially for marine protected areas (MPAs), where information on the composition and structure of fish assemblages is crucial to design a sound management plan. Data on fish assemblage are usually collected using Underwater Visual Censuses (UVC). However, fish assemblages monitoring in MP...
Article
Fish behavioural effects under Ocean Acidification (OA) rely on changes expected to occur in brain function, which can be reversed by gabazine, a GABA-A antagonist. Here, using standard two-channel choice flume, we assessed OA effects on the predator recognition ability of both gabazine-treated and -untreated Symphodus ocellatus post-settlers livin...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a cornerstone of marine conservation. Globally, the number and coverage of MPAs are increasing, but MPA implementation lags in many human-dominated regions. In areas with intense competition for space and resources, evaluation of the effects of MPAs is crucial to inform decisions. In the human-dominated Mediterrane...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring fish assemblages is needed to assess whether Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are meeting their conservation and fisheries management goals, as it allows one to track the progress of recovery of exploited species and associated communities. Underwater Visual Census techniques (UVC) are used to monitor fish assemblages in MPAs. UVCs should b...
Data
Average effect size ± CI 95% calculated on mean biomass for each taxon (PNG)
Data
List of surveyed fish species according to transect length and width used and species-specific size thresholds of large shy fish. (DOCX)
Data
Comparison of the density estimated by large and medium transects for each 5 cm- size class of each species. Tukey boxplots. Numbers inside diamonds are the number of sites considered for the comparison (see text for details). The color of the box indicates the significance of the differences in mean density estimates based upon Wilcoxon signed ran...
Data
Average effect size ± CI 95% calculated on mean density for each taxon. (PNG)
Article
Fish assemblages associated with 16 marine caves were investigated along the coasts of Spain, France and Italy. Sampling was done in caves that encompassed blind caves (one entrance) and caves with several openings, remarkably variable in morphology, overall extension, presence/absence of ceiling, and characteristics of the bottom. On the whole, 33...
Article
Full-text available
This synthesis explores the complex patterns of marine dispersal and connectivity at multiple spatial and temporal scales and identifies major gaps of knowledge. In recent years these processes have become much better known, thanks to the development of new technological tools and methods such as tagging and tracking of migratory vertebrates across...
Article
Full-text available
Patterns of connectivity and self-recruitment are recognized as key factors shaping the dynamics of marine populations. Connectivity is also essential for maintaining and restoring natural ecological processes with genetic diversity contributing to the adaptation and persistence of any species in the face of global disturbances. Estimates of connec...
Chapter
Full-text available
Estimates of dispersal and connectivity patterns are crucial to properly manage fish stocks and design effective networks of marine protected areas. However, quantifying dispersal and connectivity patterns is a complex task due to the difficulty to follow individuals throughout entire life cycle. Multiple approaches are available to assess dispersa...