Giorgio Bavestrello

Giorgio Bavestrello
Università degli Studi di Genova | UNIGE · Dipartimento di Scienze della terra, dell'ambiente e della vita (DISTAV)

PhD

About

426
Publications
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10,256
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Publications

Publications (426)
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies suggest that the lithological properties of hard substrates play an important role in influencing the diversity and structure of marine assemblages involving macroalgae, sessile organisms and vagile animals like heterobranchs gastropods and fishes. The present study aims at exploring whether the influence of different substrates (lim...
Article
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The carbonatic scleraxis of Corallium rubrum (L.), commonly known as red coral, is often found infested by excavating sponges. These boring organisms produce galleries inside the compact axis of the coral in a variety of shapes compromising the integrity of the skeleton and reducing its commercial value. Three sponge species, already known to bore...
Article
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Among Mediterranean habitat-forming alcyonaceans, the sea fan Eunicella verrucosa is known to form dense forests at circalittoral depths, providing seascape complexity and sustaining a rich associated fauna. Its occurrence in the Tavolara–Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area (NE Sardinia) has never been deeply investigated despite this area bei...
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In the Antarctic seas, where hard substrates are scarce, the presence of secondary bio-substrates formed by calcareous organisms is an essential condition to increase the epibiosis and therefore the diversity of sessile benthic fauna. The aggregations of stylasterid hydrozoa, with their branched carbonate structures, are an example of a secondary h...
Article
This study presents a description of Bispira riccardi sp. nov., a new habitat-forming sabellid polychaete from the mesophotic NW Mediterranean Sea. Individuals, up to 20 cm long, show a peculiar morphology of radioles, thoracic uncini, companion chaetae and ventral shield of the collar. The phylogenetic position of this new taxon in the genus Bispi...
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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
During the last twenty years, several studies have demonstrated the primary role of the lithological properties of hard substrates in conditioning the diversity and structure of marine sessile communities (aka bio-mineralogy). This research was dedicated to testing whether different substrates (limestones and granites) influence higher levels of th...
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Aulacomya atra is an active suspension feeder, spatially dominant in the shallow-water hard-bottom benthic communities of the Chilean Patagonia fjords. In this region, the vertical flux of autochthonous organic matter (OM) reaching the benthos is augmented by allochthonous OM both from a terrestrial origin and from intensive salmon farming. This mi...
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Chilean Patagonia hosts one of the extensive fjord systems in the world, spanning more than 1,600 km between 41 and 55°S, and with a complex geomorphology and hydrography that supports rich and unique assemblages of marine fauna. The biodiversity of benthic organisms is possibly further enhanced by the geographic position of the region that extends...
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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
Coralligenous reefs represent one of the key ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea in terms of both species richness and habitat heterogeneity. Their main characteristic is the massive development of crustose macroalgae, the corallines, which form a bio-constructed basal layer. However, when growing on granitic substrates, these algae show a lower ca...
Article
Biofluorescence, the ability to exploit light with short wavelengths, such as ultraviolet (UV) and blue, and re-emit it with lower energy and longer wavelengths, is considered a widespread phenomenon among marine animals and has many ecological roles in intra- and interspecific communication. Heterobranch sea slugs are believed to rely almost exclu...
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The Mediterranean red coral, Corallium rubrum (L.), has been a valuable economic resource for more than 2000 years. The Sicily Channel and surrounding areas are one of the most famous red coral fishing grounds of the whole region, hosting the deepest ever found living colonies and large sub-fossil red coral deposits; the so-called Sciacca banks are...
Article
• Detailed knowledge about the distribution of species in need of protection is required for the management of Marine Protected Areas, a major tool to reduce marine biodiversity loss. Such knowledge is deficient for most marine invertebrates. • Axinella polypoides is a marine sponge included on the list of protected species by the Barcelona Convent...
Article
ALDFGs (abandoned, lost or otherwise discharged fishing gears) represent a major pollutant in the world’s oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea, but very little is known about their long-term fate in the underwater environment. Here we investigate the destiny of ALDFGs in a coralligenous benthic community by studying the biofouling growing on the...
Chapter
The Ha Long Bay (Vietnam) is a shallow area located in the northern part of the Tonkin Gulf, in the South China Sea. It includes more than 3000 islands of variable sizes. A continuous action of karstic processes, initiating around 280 million of years ago, shaped the formation of extraordinary caves and shallow salt-water lakes. These impressive st...
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Cnidarians are known to undergo reverse development as a survival mechanism against adverse environmental conditions. Polyp bail-out consists in the polyps' detachment from the mother colony due to stressful conditions, followed by a complete tissue and cells rearrangement and in some cases in a regression into a simple, ciliated form. Here we desc...
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Natural secondary metabolites of sponges of the genus Haliclona are associated with an array of biological activity with therapeutic usage. We investigated the immunopharmacological properties of a presumably novel marine sponge species from Sri Lanka, Haliclona (Soestella) sp. Sponge material was collected from southern Sri Lanka by scuba diving....
Article
The squat lobster Munida gregaria is considered a key species within food webs of sub-Antarctic ecosystems of South America, and represents a fundamental link between detritus and higher-level predators. Although ecological aspects of its lengthy pelagic phase have been well described, those of the benthic stage remain poorly understood, particular...
Article
Differently from the North Atlantic Ocean, only few examples of sponge grounds are known from the Mediterranean Sea, mainly thriving in the deep sea. In this study, a novel temperate mesophotic ecosystem dominated by massive keratose sponges is reported from the Ligurian deep continental shelf. An extensive Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) survey al...
Article
• Seamounts host some of the most important deep‐sea ecosystems. The unique environmental characteristics of seamounts sustain rich biological hot spots, which, in recent times, have suffered the effects of intense fishing pressure. • Biodiversity and vulnerability data are extremely scarce for Mediterranean seamounts, and this, in addition to the...
Article
Structure and diversity of sessile zoobenthic assemblages seem to be driven not only by chemical-physical constraints and biological interactions but also by substrate lithology and its surface features. Nevertheless, broadly distributed crustose epilithic corallines could mask the role of substrate on animal settling. To evaluate the direct influe...
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In the Mediterranean, at the end of the 19thcentury, dolphins were identified as pest species for their disruptive actions during some fishing phases. Numerous fishermen organizations asked for permission to hunt dolphins, and the killing of a dolphin was often institutionally favoured by several national laws. We provide a picture of the systemati...
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Until now, only 177 species of sponges (Porifera) have been reported for Chilean coastal waters. Here we describe recent scuba diving surveys undertaken to improve our knowledge of the diversity of the sponge fauna of the Seno Magdalena, Puyuhuapi Fjord and Jacaf Canal in Chilean Patagonia. Despite these relatively harsh environments, our study yie...
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The development of novel and effective methods for the isolation of chitin, which remains one of the fundamental aminopolysaccharides within skeletal structures of diverse marine invertebrates, is still relevant. In contrast to numerous studies on chitin extraction from crustaceans, mollusks and sponges, there are only a few reports concerning its...
Article
The use of SCUBA diving for marine research in the Chilean fjords has increased the possibility of obtaining information on the sponge assemblages living in this environment. However, much work is still needed to achieve a satisfactory knowledge of the benthos of this wide region. As to sponges, just consider that seventeen new species have been re...
Article
The gorgonians Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) and Eunicella cavolini (Koch, 1887) are important habitat-forming species within the Mediterranean coralligenous habitats, creating complex, three-dimensional forests that greatly contribute to the underwater landscape of the coastal hard grounds. Dense forests of both species are present within the...
Article
Exceptional meteo-marine events, such as storms, may have profound effects on the structure of benthic communities, yet their consequences on these ecosystems in the Mediterranean basin are still poorly known, mainly due to the unpredictability of such phenomena as well as the general lack of comparative datasets. The highly destructive storm of fa...
Article
Litter has become a common component of marine ecosystems, and its assessment and monitoring are now of primary interest. Here, we characterized seafloor litter in the mesophotic depth range of the Ligurian Sea, one of the most urbanized basins of the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty sites (30–220 m depth) were investigated by by means of ROV video transe...
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In the Mediterranean Sea, the two sponges of the genus Aplysina (A. aerophoba and A. cavernicola) are identified on the basis of their external morphology and the environment in which they live. During a research program on the sponge fauna in semi-submerged caves of the Italian coasts, we have sampled an abundant very small yellow sponge, often li...
Article
Trophic relationships significantly influence ecosystem functioning, ultimately affecting populations’ abundance, size structure and distribution. There is still a substantial knowledge gap on the trophic ecology of deep-sea organisms, particularly those living in the mesophotic depths (30–150 m), despite their crucial importance as ecosystem engin...
Article
Seamounts represent ecologically important marine environments and undeniably play a crucial role in the functioning of the deep-sea ecosystems, thanks primarily to their contribution in supporting offshore benthic and pelagic biodiversity. In the last decades, these features have received attention in all oceans of the world, but they were relativ...
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A rapid temperature increase in the 1980-90s has been accompanied by dramatic and unprecedented changes in the biota and communities of the Ligurian Sea. This review uses existing historical series (a few of which have been purposely updated) to assess extent and consequences of such changes. A number of warm-water species, previously absent or occ...
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Anthropogenic climate change, and global warming in particular, has strong and increasing impacts on marine ecosystems (Poloczanska et al., 2013; Halpern et al., 2015; Smale et al., 2019). The Mediterranean Sea is considered a marine biodiversity hotspot contributing to more than 7% of world’s marine biodiversity including a high percentage of ende...
Article
The three-dimensional coral scaffolds formed by the skeletons of the cold-water corals Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa represent an important deep-sea hard substratum and create an optimal shelter for a rich associated fauna in which the contribution of Porifera has still not been fully considered. The taxonomic analysis of sponges collected...
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The Ligurian Sea is one of the most studied Mediterranean basins. Since the beginning of the last century, many research expeditions have characterized its benthic and pelagic fauna through scuba diving and trawl surveys. However, a large knowledge gap exists about the composition of benthic communities extending into the so-called mesophotic or tw...
Article
The main aims of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are the conservation of natural habitats and their biological resources, together with the promotion of an eco-compatible economic fruition. In Mediterranean MPAs, the main threats for hard bottom benthic communities come from fishing and mass tourism, in terms of boating and SCUBA diving. The Portofin...
Article
Climate change and heavy anthropic pressures are giving rise to important modifications in the rocky benthic communities of the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, sponge assemblages have been deeply affected due to the susceptibility of some species to dramatic phenomena such as mass mortalities or widespread variations in the abundance of other spe...
Article
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The close relationship between a polyclad (Platyhelminthes, Rhabditophora, Polycladida) and the mesophotic Atlantic–Mediterranean black coral Antipathella subpinnata (Ellis & Solander, 1786) (Cnidaria, Hexacorallia, Antipatharia) is herein described for the first time. Worms, up to 50 mm long, are elongated with sparse dorsal papillae, an anterior,...
Article
Tissue repair is an adaptive and widespread metazoan response. It is characterised by different cellular mechanisms and complex signalling networks that involve numerous growth factors and cytokines. In higher animals, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signalling plays a fundamental role in wound healing. In order to evaluate the involvement of...
Chapter
Coral gardens are increasingly being reported at 40–200 m depth in the Mediterranean Sea. These coral assemblages are composed of gorgonians from shallow coastal rocky bottoms extending their distribution to deeper areas, as well as by gorgonians and black corals with distribution restricted to the continental shelf and upper slope. Gorgonians and...
Chapter
Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) investigations of the Mediterranean deep continental shelf and bathyal zone have provided, in the last decade, a large amount of data concerning an enigmatic group of anthozoans: the black corals. Taxonomic investigations as well as ecological and biological studies contributed to unveil the diversity, population str...
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The demosponge siliceous spicules, entrapped in the Mediterranean coralligenous bioherms, are a good tool for reconstructing the sponge ancient communities across time, also allowing a comparison with the current biodiversity. The aim of this paper has been the description of the ancient sponge assemblages of the coralligenous bioherms grown up in...
Article
Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are characterized by prominent biological features susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. Following international guidelines, the identification and protection of VMEs require a detailed documentation regarding both the community structure and the fishing footprint in the area. This combined information is la...
Article
Temperate mesophotic reefs (circalittoral and offshore circalittoral hard/firm habitats), host complex three-dimensional animal forests and are vulnerable habitats protected by international agreements. In order to evaluate and monitor the environmental status of these ecosystems, the multi-parametric index Mesophotic Assemblages Conservation Statu...
Article
The presence of fjords, islands and channels originating from glacial erosion and ice cap retreat, makes the Chilean benthic biodiversity difficult to explore and study. Our survey of this region allowed the identification of 29 Demospongiae species in total. Two of them are new to science and here described: Biemna lutea sp. nov., and Hamigera cle...
Chapter
About 63% of the known antipatharian genera occur at mesophotic depths (30–150 m), with the majority extending into the deep sea. Along the continental shelf and offshore sites, antipatharians tend to increase in diversity and abundance with depth, reaching a peak at mesophotic depths due to favorable environmental factors enhancing their settlemen...
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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
Marine caves are unique and vulnerable habitats exhibiting high biodiversity and heterogeneity, but threatened by multiple global and local disturbances. Marine caves, although widely distributed along the Mediterranean coast, suffer for the lack of quantitative data on their structure and function, which hinder their conservation status assessment...
Article
Cnidarians are known for their simple body plan and their complex life cycles, involving high regenerative and asexual-reproduction potential. In particular, several asexual reproductive strategies are known for anthozoans, including fragmentation, carried out by tentacles, by groups of polyps or by portions of colonies. Here, we report the first o...
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Stylasterids belong to one of the few calcifying hydroid families that are commonly found in shallow tropical coral reefs. Although these corals are accurately described from a taxonomic point of view, information about their ecology is scarce. Distichopora violacea is one of the most common stylasterids of the Indo-Pacific region; however, no info...
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Velella velella, the so-called by-the-wind sailor, is a common member of the open-ocean pleustonic fauna, worldwide distributed in tropical and temperate regions. Thanks to their sail protruding above the sea surface, floating polymorphic colonies of this hydrozoan are carried by winds, and tend to aggregate in large swarms, that often get stranded...
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Settlement, recruitment and survival of sessile marine species are driven by many biotic and abiotic factors. Among them, substrate mineral composition is generally a neglected topic, despite it proved to be a relevant contributing variable in driving the structure of benthic communities. Thanks to their ecology, Chthamalus species are a good proxy...
Article
The predatory activity of the asteroid Peltaster placenta (Müller and Troschel, 1842) on the black coral Parantipathes larix (Esper, 1790) is here described for the first time based on video footage obtained during a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) survey conducted in the Pontine Archipelago (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Mediterranean Sea)....
Article
The availability of marine habitats maps remains limited due to difficulty and cost of working at sea. Reduced light penetration in the water hampers the use of optical imagery, and acoustic methods require extensive sea-truth activities. Predictive spatial modelling may offer an alternative to produce benthic habitat maps based on complete acousti...
Article
Marine caves are unique and vulnerable habitats exhibiting high biodiversity and heterogeneity, but threatened by multiple global and local disturbances. Marine caves, although widely distributed along the Mediterranean coast, suffer for the lack of quantitative data on their structure and function, which hinder their conservation status assessment...
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
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Connectivity studies in the marine realm are of great importance to understand the evolutionary potential of populations in a context of growing pressures on the marine environment. Here, we investigated the effect of the local, regional, and depth spatial scale on the population genetic structure of the yellow gorgonian Eunicella cavolini, one of...
Article
• Despite the pluri‐decennial history of bottom trawling monitoring in the Italian Sea, limited attention has been given to the study of cold water corals (CWCs) present in the bycatch. As a result, trawl samples still hold a great potential to reveal information about deep‐water biodiversity. • The rare Mediterranean CWC species Placogorgia corona...
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...