Federica Costantini

Federica Costantini
University of Bologna | UNIBO

Professor
Marine Ecologist interested in biodiversity conservation and management of marine resources

About

70
Publications
18,140
Reads
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1,228
Citations
Citations since 2017
43 Research Items
777 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - present
University of Bologna
Position
  • RTD

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
Background In metabarcoding analyses, the taxonomic assignment is crucial to place sequencing data in biological and ecological contexts. This fundamental step depends on a reference database, which should have a good taxonomic coverage to avoid unassigned sequences. However, this goal is rarely achieved in many geographic regions and for several t...
Article
Full-text available
Truly sustainable development in a human-altered, fragmented marine environment subject to unprecedented climate change, demands informed planning strategies in order to be successful. Beyond a simple understanding of the distribution of marine species, data describing how variations in spatio-temporal dynamics impact ecosystem functioning and the...
Preprint
The ability to gather genetic information from organisms obtained directly from environmental samples is crucial to determine biodiversity baselines and understanding population dynamics in the marine realm. While DNA metabarcoding is effective in evaluating biodiversity at community level, genetic patterns within species are often concealed in met...
Article
Full-text available
The by-the-wind sailor Velella velella is a cosmopolitan, pleustonic colonial hydrozoan, common in the Mediterranean Sea. It forms offshore aggregations that occasionally strand on the coasts, following strong wind conditions. Colonies are frequently discovered around Janthina pallida Janthina pallida, a pleustonic gastropod that feeds on them and...
Article
Savalia savaglia is an Atlantic-Mediterranean zoantharian species with a patchy geographic and bathymetric distribution. Due to its longevity, S. savaglia may form large-sized colonies which play a crucial role in the ecosystem as habitat formers. Despite its ecological importance, little is known about the population structure and intraspecific ge...
Article
Epilithic bacteria play a fundamental role in the conservation of cultural heritage (CH) materials. On stones, bacterial communities cause both degradation and bioprotection actions. Bronze biocorrosion in non-burial conditions is rarely studied. Only few studies have examined the relationship between bacteria communities and the chemical compositi...
Article
The European COST Action “Unifying Approaches to Marine Connectivity for improved Resource Management for the Seas” (SEA-UNICORN, 2020‐2025) is an international research coordination initiative that unites an interdisciplinary community of scientists and policymakers from over 100 organizations across Europe and beyond. It is establishing a globall...
Article
Full-text available
Truly sustainable development in a human-altered, fragmented marine environment subject to unprecedented climate change, demands informed planning strategies in order to be successful. Beyond a simple understanding of the distribution of marine species, data describing how variations in spatio-temporal dynamics impact ecosystem functioning and the...
Article
Full-text available
Marine biodiversity underpins ecosystem health and societal well-being. Preservation of biodiversity hotspots is a global challenge. Molecular tools, like DNA barcoding and metabarcoding, hold great potential for biodiversity monitoring, possibly outperforming more traditional taxonomic methods. However, metabarcoding-based biodiversity assessments...
Article
Full-text available
Oyster shells are substratum for different epibiontic and endobiontic organisms, including pests and parasites. Rocellaria dubia is endolithic and facultative tube-dwelling bivalve, boring in different calcareous substrates, including the shells of bivalves. In 2020, R. dubia was found as endolithic in the shells of the Pacific oyster Magalana giga...
Preprint
Full-text available
Marine biodiversity underpins ecosystem health and societal well-being. Preservation of biodiversity hotspots is a global challenge. Molecular tools, like DNA barcoding and metabarcoding, hold great potential for biodiversity monitoring, possibly outperforming more traditional taxonomic methods. However, metabarcoding-based biodiversity assessments...
Article
Full-text available
Antipathella subpinnata (Ellis and Solander 1786) is one of the most frequently observed black corals at mesophotic depths (60–200 m) of the Mediterranean Sea, particularly in the northwestern part of the basin, where its populations can reach high densities and create forest-like aggregations, both along the coast and in offshore locations such as...
Article
• Explorations of the Mediterranean deep sea using remotely operated vehicles have shown that the sea bed hosts rich habitats, supporting high biodiversity. However, there have been only a few studies dealing with the southern part of the basin, leading to limited protection and conservation efforts in this area. • This study aimed to explore the s...
Article
Full-text available
Coralligenous assemblages are among the most species-rich and vulnerable habitats of the Mediterranean Sea. Nevertheless, data on connectivity patterns on species inhabiting these habitats, crucial to define management and protection priorities, are largely lacking. Moreover, unreliable species-level taxonomy can confound ecological studies and mis...
Article
Sessile marine species such as Anthozoans act as ecosystem engineers due to their three-dimensional structure. Gorgonians, in particular, can form dense underwater forests that give shelter to other species increasing local biodiversity. In the last decades, several Mediterranean gorgonian populations have been affected by natural and anthropogenic...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; ~30–150 m depth) are among the most biologically diverse and least protected ecosystems in the world's oceans. However, discussions regarding the conservation of these unique ecosystems are scarce. To address this issue, we identified the features of MCEs that demonstrate they should be considered as a global cons...
Article
Lead (Pb) concentrations in long-lived Corallium species of known age, from the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, were determined by laser ablation, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). Lead concentrations in a 2000-year-old sub-fossil Mediterranean C. rubrum are ca 0.09 ± 0.03 μg/g. For the period 1894–1955, lead...
Chapter
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) and temperate mesophotic ecosystems (TMEs) have received increasing research attention during the last decade as many new and improved methods and technologies have become more accessible to explore deeper parts of the ocean. However, large voids in knowledge remain in our scientific understanding, limiting our ab...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Marine bioconstructions such as coralligenous formations are hotspot of biodiversity and play a relevant ecological role in the preservation of biodiversity by providing carbon regulation, protection and nursery areas for several marine species. For this reason, the European Union Habitat Directive included them among priority habitats to be pr...
Article
Gorgonians play an important structural and functional role promoting high diversity and biomass of associated fauna. Up to now, studies on gorgonian ecology in the Mediterranean Sea have been focused mainly on the SCUBA diving depth range. Although increased availability of remotely operated vehicles allowed access to the deeper areas, gorgonian a...
Article
The Adriatic Sea is an important foraging area for the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta. Due to the increase of anthropogenic impacts, a growing number of individuals are captured as by-catch, found stranded or drifting at sea. Turtles mortality within the Adriatic Sea can affect Mediterranean populations, increasing the risk of losing genetic div...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Healthy coralligenous habitats may host dense populations of gorgonians, like Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolini that build marine animal forests. According to recent studies, these forests appeared able to increase the resilience of coralligenous habitats and to enhance the structural complexity and bioconstruction processes. They are also...
Article
Marine bioconstructions are biodiversity-rich, three-dimensional biogenic structures, regulating key ecological functions of benthic ecosystems worldwide. Tropical coral reefs are outstanding for their beauty, diversity and complexity, but analogous types of bioconstructions are also present in temperate seas. The main bioconstructions in the Medit...
Article
Full-text available
Non-native Spartina spp. have invaded many coastal saltmarshes worldwide. Introduced Spartina may cause problems like displacement of native vegetation and hybridisation with native species, leading to changes to relevant ecosystem services and saltmarsh geomorphology. Here we report the extensive and so far overlooked replacement of the native Spa...
Chapter
Marine bioconstructions are biodiversity-rich, three-dimensional biogenic structures, regulating key ecological functions of benthic ecosystems worldwide. Tropical coral reefs are outstanding for their beauty, diversity and complexity, but analogous types of bioconstructions are also present in temperate seas. The main bioconstructions in the Medit...
Article
Full-text available
• Climate‐induced threats are increasingly affecting marine populations worldwide. In the last few decades, several gorgonian species have been affected by mass mortality events in the north‐west Mediterranean, putatively linked to local sea temperature increases during heatwaves. For many benthic sessile species, recovery after disturbances depend...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the patterns of connectivity is required by the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and will be used to guide the extension of marine protection measures. Despite the increasing accuracy of ocean circulation modelling, the capacity to model the population connectivity of sessile benthic species with dispersal larval stages can b...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Larval settlement and intra-specific interactions during the recruitment phase are crucial in determining the distribution and density of sessile marine popu- lations. Marine caves are confined and stable habitats. As such, they provide a natural laboratory to study the settlement and recruitment processes in sessile invertebrates, incl...
Data
Graph showing the values of ΔK (Delta K) along the different K values
Data
Bar plot of Structure from K = 1 to K = 10
Data
Complete dataset Genotype of each individual, position of each individual on the tile, identification as juvenile or recruit, n. of polyps, diameter, height.
Data
Bayesian information criteria values for increasing values of K using DAPC
Article
Full-text available
Conservation of coastal habitats is a global issue, yet biogenic reefs in temperate regions have received very little attention. They have a broad geographic distribution and are a key habitat in marine ecosystems impacted by human activities. In the Mediterranean Sea coralligenous reefs are biodiversity hot spots and are classified as sensitive ha...
Article
Aim The Mediterranean Sea is a biodiversity hotspot, hosting a wide variety of habitats and organisms resulting from its complex past history and present‐day processes. Although several biogeographical areas are defined within the Mediterranean Sea, a comprehensive description of the main connectivity patterns among these areas is still lacking. In...
Article
Gorgonian corals play a structural role in temperate and tropical biogenic reefs, forming animal forests and creating biodiversity hot spots. In the Mediterranean Sea, slow-growing and long-lived gorgonian species are threatened by human disturbances and global environmental changes and concern about their conservation is rising. Alkaloid metabolit...
Chapter
Recent explorations of rocky habitats from 40 to about 6,000 m depth disclosed the role of gorgonian and scleractinian corals as habitat formers in tropical, temperate, and polar deep waters. Deep biogenic habitats host high species richness and complexity and their conservation requires a profound understanding of biological and ecological feature...
Article
Full-text available
The precious octocoral Corallium rubrum has a long history of exploitation in the Mediterranean Sea. Historically, harvesting followed the “boom and bust” cycles whereby newly discovered beds were overexploited to depletion. In the past, most of the red coral harvesting came form France, Italy, and Spain. Today, landing data show that Tunisia is th...
Chapter
Precious corals encompass various species belonging to three different orders (Alcyonacea, Zoanthidea and Antipatharia) of the Anthozoan class. These sessile cnidarians are one of the most valuable marine resources due to the use of their skeleton for jewelry and handcrafted artifacts. The exploitation of precious corals beds generally follows a bo...
Chapter
Among Mediterranean cnidarians, the octocoral Corallium rubrum is the most harvested species, mostly owing to the exploitation of its red skeleton for jewellery purposes. Red coral colonies can be found on vertical cliffs, in caves and in crevices from 20 to 100 m depths. Red coral also occurs in deeper water where it dwells on scattered boulders,...
Article
Full-text available
Gorgonian species show a high morphological variability in relation to the environment in which they live. In coastal areas, parameters such as temperature, light, currents, and food availability vary significantly with depth, potentially affecting morphology of the colonies and the structure of the populations, as well as their connectivity patter...
Data
Microsatellite data set. The allele sizes in 6 loci studied in 13 E. singularis populations. (XLS)
Data
Materials and Methods and Results. DNA extraction of the Eunicella species and PCR amplification of the three mitochondrial markers and their genetic variability. (DOCX)
Data
Pairwise genetic p distance among Eunicella species. Pairwise genetic p distance (Dp) among Eunicella species including the sampled populations of Eunicella singularis. (DOCX)
Technical Report
Full-text available
With the aim to address some of the complex needs of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) management, the results of the “Monitoring Mediterranean Marine Protected Area” project (MMMPA) are here synthesized in a series of timely and original guidelines.
Chapter
Recent explorations of rocky habitats from 40 to about 6,000 m depth disclosed the role of gorgonian and scleractinian corals as habitat formers in tropical, temperate, and polar deep waters. Deep biogenic habitats host high species richness and complexity and their conservation requires a profound understanding of biological and ecological feature...
Article
Deep-sea reef-building corals are among the most conspicuous invertebrates inhabiting the hard-bottom habitats worldwide and are particularly susceptible to human threats. The precious red coral (Corallium rubrum, L. 1758) has a wide bathymetric distribution, from shallow up to 800 m depth, and represents a key species in the Mediterranean mesophot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The management of the red coral, Corallium rubrum (L.), is an international issue still lacking of an effective solution in the Mediterranean Sea. The main goal of this research was the evaluation of the ROV efficiency as a monitoring non-destructive tool in studies concerning the conservation status of the deep red coral populations (living under...
Article
Full-text available
Biogeography investigates spatial patterns of species distribution. Discontinuities in species distribution are identified as boundaries between biogeographic areas. Do these boundaries affect genetic connectivity? To address this question, a multifactorial hierarchical sampling design, across three of the major marine biogeographic boundaries in t...
Data
Biogeography investigates spatial patterns of species distribution. Discontinuities in species distribution are identified as boundaries between biogeographic areas. Do these boundaries affect genetic connectivity? To address this question, a multifactorial hierarchical sampling design, across three of the major marine biogeographic boundaries in t...
Article
Full-text available
Temperate reefs are among the most threatened marine habitats due to impacts caused by high density of human settlements, coastal development, pollution, fisheries and tourism. Networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important tool for ensuring long-term health and conservation of ecological processes in the marine environment. Design of t...
Article
Full-text available
While shallow water red coral populations have been overharvested in the past, nowadays, commercial harvesting shifted its pressure on mesophotic organisms. An understanding of red coral population structure, particularly larval dispersal patterns and connectivity among harvested populations is paramount to the viability of the species. In order to...
Article
Full-text available
Human-made structures are increasingly built in marine coastal habitats for a variety of purposes. Offshore oil and gas production platforms are among the largest examples. Yet, biological effects of these increasing density artificial substrata are under evaluated. The objective of our study is to investigate the possible role of offshore platform...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the possible effect of depth on the connectivity and genetic variability in red coral (Corallium rubrum; Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) populations. Patterns of genetic structuring along a depth gradient (from 20 to 70m) were investigated in two locations of the western Mediterranean coast (northern Catalan and eastern Ligurian Seas)...
Article
Full-text available
Human-made structures are increasingly found in marine coastal habitats. The aim of the present study was to explore whether urban coastal structures can affect the genetic variation of hard-bottom species. We conducted a population genetic analysis on the limpet Patella caerulea sampled in both natural and artificial habitats along the Adriatic co...
Article
The precious red coral Corallium rubrum (L., 1758) lives in the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent Eastern Atlantic Ocean on subtidal hard substrates. Corallium rubrum is a long-lived gorgonian coral that has been commercially harvested since ancient times for its red axial calcitic skeleton and which, at present, is thought to be in decline because of...
Article
Previous studies on the common ragworm Hediste diversicolor (Polychaeta: Nereididae) revealed a marked genetic fragmentation across its distribution and the occurrence of sibling taxa in the Baltic Sea. These results suggested that the phylogeographic patterns of H. diversicolor could reflect interactions between cryptic differentiation and multipl...
Article
Full-text available
The structure, distribution and temporal changes of epibenthic assemblages of Mediterranean coralligenous reef in the Ligurian and Adriatic Sea were investigated by using a multifactorial sampling design. The distribution of taxa were analysed at scales ranging form hundred of meters to tens of kilometres. Temporal variations were analysed among di...
Article
Full-text available
In the past decades, anthropogenic disturbance has increased in marine costal habitats, leading to dramatic shifts in population size structure of various marine species. In the temperate region, the gorgonian coral (Corallium rubrum) is one of the major disturbed species, mostly owing to the exploitation of its red skeleton for jewellery purposes....
Article
Full-text available
The red coral Corallium rubrum has a long history of intensive exploitation. As a consequence, most populations have been overharvested, which may be leading to reduced levels of genetic diversity. C. rubrum is a gorgonian distributed in the Mediterranean Sea and along the neighbouring Atlantic coasts, with brooding larvae which disperse only over...
Article
Corallium rubrum, an endemic Mediterranean gorgonian coral, has undergone an intensive exploitation leading to the extinction of local commercial banks and changes in the structure and dynamics of coastal populations. Management and conservation of this species requires a better understanding of the genetic structuring and connectivity among popula...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The TAO project aims to develop innovative technologies for coastal monitoring within the active beach (between the maximum wave rise limit and the maximum interaction depth of the currents with the seabed) in order to investigate the coastal dynamic mechanisms that cause erosion and to evaluate the effectiveness of defense structures. The goal of the project is the implementation of a technological platform consisting of mobile and fixed monitoring stations with low environmental impact and low cost, for the investigation of littoral and supra / sub-littoral areas. It will be accompanied by ad-hoc instruments that will allow the implementation of seabed 3D models based on morpho-bathymetric surveys, surface stratigraphy, and distribution of the sediments in the area. Moreover, it will enable to take water samples, acquire images of the coastline, and assess the environmental conditions through the processing of biotic and abiotic data. Research project funded by Emilia Romagna region. POR-FESR 2014-2020 Partners: PROAMBIENTE innovation and environment CIRI EC – Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research in Building and Construction CIRI MAM – Interdepartmental Center of Industrial Research for Advanced Mechanics and Materials CIRI FRAME – Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research Renewable Sources, Environment, Sea and Energy CNA INNOVAZIONE http://www.tao.consorzioproambiente.it/en/home/
Project
http://www.worldharbourproject.org/