Katy Nicastro

Katy Nicastro
Centro de Ciências do Mar | CCMAR

Ph.D.

About

110
Publications
16,655
Reads
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1,889
Citations
Citations since 2016
55 Research Items
1416 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - present
Centro de Ciências do Mar
Position
  • Researcher Associate
November 2014 - December 2014
Centro de Ciências do Mar
Position
  • Guest Scientist Fellow
April 2008 - October 2014
Centro de Ciências do Mar
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2004 - March 2008
Rhodes University
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Full-text available
Background The order and orientation of genes encoded by animal mitogenomes are typically conserved, although there is increasing evidence of multiple rearrangements among mollusks. The mitogenome from a Brazilian brown mussel (hereafter named B1) classified as Perna perna Linnaeus, 1758 and assembled from Illumina short-length reads revealed an un...
Article
Full-text available
Photoautotrophic euendolithic microorganisms are ubiquitous where there are calcium carbonate substrates to bore into and sufficient light to sustain photosynthesis. The most diverse and abundant modern euendolithic communities can be found in the marine environment. Euendoliths, as microorganisms infesting inanimate substrates, were first thought...
Article
Full-text available
Recruitment of mussels is a complex process with the successful arrival of individuals hinging on the availability of suitable habitats. We examined the effects of adult mussels as settlement habitat and the degree to which the suitability of habitat they offer is species-specific by comparing the recruitment success of intertidal mussels. We hypot...
Article
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Our understanding of how anthropogenic stressors such as climate change and plastic pollution interact with biodiversity is being widened to include diversity below the species level, i.e., intraspecific variation. The emerging appreciation of the key ecological importance of intraspecific diversity and its potential loss in the Anthropocene, furth...
Article
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The massive contamination of the environment by plastics is an increasing global scientific and societal concern. Knowing whether and how these pollutants affect the behaviour of keystone species is essential to identify environmental risks effectively. Here, we focus on the effect of plastic leachates on the behavioural response of the common blue...
Article
Plastic is one of the most ubiquitous sources of both contamination and pollution of the Anthropocene, and accumulates virtually everywhere on the planet. As such, plastic threatens the environment, the economy and human well-being globally. The related potential threats have been identified as a major global conservation issue and a key research p...
Article
Full-text available
Mussels are ecological engineers in intertidal communities; they affect coastal species richness by increasing habitat spatial complexity, buffering against environmental extremes, and providing protection from predators. Parasitic activities of endolithic cyanobacteria on mussels weaken their shells, requiring the expenditure of energy on shell re...
Article
Plastic contamination has major effects on biodiversity, enhancing the consequences of other forms of global anthropogenic disturbance such as climate change and habitat fragmentation. Despite this and the recognised importance of intraspecific diversity, we still know relatively little about how plastic pollution affects diversity below the specie...
Article
Anthropogenic litter in the environment is pervasive globally. Of particular concern are plastics because of their ubiquity, longevity in the environment and lethal effects. Plastics affect organisms at most levels of biological organisation but, even in well studied animals like birds, we have limited insight into species-specific vulnerability or...
Article
Heat‐induced mass mortalities involving ecosystem engineers may have long‐lasting detrimental effects at the community level, eliminating the ecosystem services they provide. Intertidal mussels are ecologically and economically valuable with some populations facing unprecedented heat‐induced mass mortalities. Critically, mussels are also frequently...
Article
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The carbon footprint of flying overseas to conferences, meetings, and workshops to share and build knowledge has been increasingly questioned over the last two decades, especially in environmental and climate sciences, due to the related colossal carbon emissions. Here, we infer the value of scientific meetings through the number of publications pr...
Article
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Brown mussels exhibit a trans‐Atlantic distribution putatively caused by either native dispersal or artificial gene flow, likely in concert with the transport of enslaved people from Africa. Evolutionary history and demographic models of this widespread species may clarify how the present‐day distribution was impacted by natural versus artificial d...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Biogeographic boundaries can act as either weak or strong barriers to the spread of species undergoing distributional change. Once a novel species spreads across a boundary, it can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem, for instance by competing with local species, and, over the long-term, re-engineer the ecosystem. Marine biogeographic re...
Data
This dataset contains data described in the paper entitled "Biogeographic drivers of distribution and abundance in an alien ecosystem engineer: Transboundary range expansion, barriers to spread, and spatial structure". Data include: (1) historical and contemporary records of the invasive mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis to re-construct its invasion...
Article
Temperature extremes are predicted to intensify with climate change. These extremes are rapidly emerging as a powerful driver of species distributional changes with the capacity to disrupt the functioning and provision of services of entire ecosystems, particularly when they challenge ecosystem engineers. The subsequent search for a robust framewor...
Article
Self-organized, regular spatial patterns emerging from local interactions among individuals enhance the ability of ecosystems to respond to environmental disturbances. Mussels self-organize to form large, regularly patterned biogenic structures that modify the biotic and abiotic environment and provide numerous ecosystem functions and services. We...
Article
ABSTRACT Intertidal mussels are important ecosystem engineers that increase habitat complexity and provide shelter, substratum and food to associated communities. They thus play a key role in the maintenance of local biodiversity. Intertidal mussels are frequently parasitized by endolithic cyanobacteria that erode and significantly weaken their she...
Article
Anthropogenic litter is ubiquitous throughout marine ecosystems, but its abundance and distribution are driven by complex interactions of distinct environmental factors and thus can be extremely heterogeneous. Here we compare the extent of anthropogenic litter pollution at a sheltered lagoon habitat and nearby open coast sites. Monthly surveys over...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the spread of invasive species in many regions is difficult because surveys are rare. Here, historical records of the invasive marine mussel, Semimytilus algosus, on the shores of Angola and Namibia are synthesised to re-construct its invasive history. Since this mussel was first discovered in Namibia about 90 years ago, it has spread...
Article
Plastic pollution is ubiquitous with increasing recognition of its direct effects on species’ fitness. Little is known, however, about its more subtle effects, including the influence of plastic pollution on the morphological, functional and behavioural traits of organisms that are central to their ability to withstand disturbances. Among the least...
Article
Can intraspecific diversity functionally supersede interspecific diversity? Recent studies have established the ecological effects of intraspecific variation on a number of ecosystem dynamics including resilience and productivity and we hypothesised that they may functionally exceed those of species diversity. We focused on a coastal ecosystem domi...
Article
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Upwelling strongly influences the composition and dynamics of coastal communities by affecting species abundances, recruitment, dispersal and distribution. Coastal upwelling areas are key model regions to study the responses of coastal species to climate change because they are characterized by cooler water conditions and experience lower warming r...
Article
Plastic waste has become ubiquitous in ecosystems worldwide. Few, recent studies report evidence of coastal vegetated habitats acting as sink for plastics, yet assessments have been completed either for macro or microplastics and focussing on just one type of vegetated habitat. Here, we investigated the role of marine coastal vegetated habitats as...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘Abundant-Centre Hypothesis’ is a well-established but controversial hypothesis stating that the abundance of a species is highest at the centre of its range and decreases towards the edges, where conditions are unfavourable. As genetic diversity depends on population size, edge populations are expected to show lower intra-population genetic di...
Article
Marine litter is widely dispersed throughout coastal environments. Assessing the distribution and accumulation of such contaminants is crucial to understand their environmental impacts. This study presents a baseline for the monitoring of litter and microplastics in intertidal sediments along the Atlantic shores of southern Portugal and Morocco and...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme events such as heat waves have increased in frequency and duration over the last decades. Under future climate scenarios, these discrete climatic events are expected to become even more recurrent and severe. Heat waves are particularly important on rocky intertidal shores, one of the most thermally variable and stressful habitats on the pla...
Article
Genetic structure in biogeographical transition zones can be shaped by several factors including limited dispersal across barriers, admixture following secondary contact, differential selection, and mating incompatibility. A striking example is found in Northwest France and Northwest Spain, where the estuarine seaweed Fucus ceranoides L. exhibits s...
Article
Full-text available
By altering the phenotypic properties of their hosts, endolithic parasites can modulate the engineering processes of marine ecosystem engineers. Here, we assessed the biogeographical patterns of species assemblages, prevalence and impact of endolithic parasitism in two mussel species that act as important ecosystem engineers in the southern African...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing population responses to climate‐related environmental change is key to understanding the adaptive potential of the species as a whole. Coralline algae are critical components of marine shallow water ecosystems where they function as important ecosystem engineers. Populations of the calcifying algae Corallina officinalis from the center (s...
Article
In modern society, plastic items have become indispensable. The rapid growth of plastic production has led to an increase in the concentration of plastic waste in the environment and, consequently, wildlife has been severely affected. As wide-ranging foragers and predators, aquatic birds are ideal sentinels for monitoring changes in their environme...
Article
Ecosystems often face a complex combination of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The assessment of anthropogenic pressures and co-occurring natural stressors is crucial to our understanding of ecosystem structures, dynamics and their conservation. The present study provides the first experimental assessment of the combined effects of tramplin...
Article
Full-text available
We report the development of nine polymorphic microsatellite markers for Corallina officinalis (Linnaeus, 1758), a calcifying intertidal red alga and important ecosystem engineer spread along the North East Atlantic. Characterization and analysis of loci were made using 15 individuals of C. officinalis from populations in Iceland and the UK. The av...
Article
We report the development of nine polymorphic microsatellite markers for Corallina officinalis (Linnaeus, 1758), a calcifying intertidal red alga and important ecosystem engineer spread along the North East Atlantic. Characterization and analysis of loci were made using 15 individuals of C. officinalis from populations in Iceland and the UK. The averag...
Article
Excessive use of plastics in daily life and the inappropriate disposal of plastic products are severely affecting wildlife species in both coastal and aquatic environments. Birds are top-predators, exposed to all threats affecting their environments, making them ideal sentinel organisms for monitoring ecosystems change. We set a baseline assessment...
Article
Retracing the origins of invasive species is a first critical step in identifying potential mechanisms of introduction, implementation of management strategies and forecasting the spread of the invader. Mytilus galloprovincialis is an intertidal mussel that is widely distributed in many temperate and subtropical regions. It is invasive worldwide an...
Article
Full-text available
Oceanographic features shape the distributional and genetic patterns of marine species by interrupting or promoting connections among populations. Although general patterns commonly arise, distributional ranges and genetic structure are species-specific and do not always comply with the expected trends. By applying a multimarker genetic approach co...
Article
The effects of environmental changes on species distribution are generally studied at large geographical scales. However, aggregations of individuals can significantly moderate the impact of the environment at smaller, organismal scales. We focused on the intertidal macroalga Fucus guiryi and carried out field and laboratory common garden experimen...
Article
Full-text available
Aggregations of organisms commonly benefit their members by mitigating the effects of predators and environmental stresses. Mussel aggregations also form important intertidal matrices that support associated infaunal communities, the structures of which are largely shaped by the conditions within the interstitial spaces. Intertidal mussels are freq...
Article
Geographical discontinuities in the composition of species assemblages are often mirrored by genetic clines and local adaptation in species that extend across such biogeographic disjunction. Species distributed across such biogeographic discontinuities are thus more prone to develop genetic clines and adaptations to environmental variation. The nor...
Poster
Como resultado do uso excessivo de plásticos no dia-a-dia e o descarte inapropriado destes produtos plásticos, os animais selvagens têm sido severamente afectados pelos detritos plásticos em ambientes costeiros e aquáticos. As aves são predadores de topo expostas a todas as ameaças que afectam estes ambientes, o que as torna organismos sentinela id...
Article
Full-text available
At a proximal level, the physiological impacts of global climate change on ectothermic organisms are manifest as changes in body temperatures. Especially for plants and animals exposed to direct solar radiation, body temperatures can be substantially different from air temperatures. We deployed biomimetic sensors that approximate the thermal charac...
Article
Full-text available
Positive and negative aspects of species interactions can be context dependant and strongly affected by environmental conditions. We tested the hypothesis that, during periods of intense heat stress, parasitic phototrophic endoliths that fatally degrade mollusc shells can benefit their mussel hosts. Endolithic infestation significantly reduced body...
Article
Full-text available
Heat-related mass mortalities and local extinctions are expected to rise as the frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme heat events increase due to climate change, particularly in the case of sessile or sedentary species that cannot relocate. Little is known, however, of how biotic factors, such as the size and non-motile behaviour of individ...
Article
Although many studies have reported the effects of climate change on species' distributions, most of them consider each species as a physiologically homogenous unit. However, different lineages or populations inhabiting distinct bioregions within a species' distributional range can retain unique genetic diversity that could result in distinct adapt...
Article
Full-text available
The indigenous South African mussel Perna perna gapes during periods of aerial exposure to maintain aerobic respiration. This behaviour has no effect on the body temperatures of isolated individuals, but when surrounded by conspecifics, beneficial cooling effects of gaping emerge. It is uncertain, however, whether the presence of the invasive musse...
Data
Size frequency distributions of the indigenous mussel (Perna perna) and the invasive mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) at the Jongensfontein, South Africa. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
AimGlobal climate change has profound and diverse effects on biological diversity. Identifying present-day climate refugia is an increasingly recognized strategy for the management of biodiversity loss. Such refugia are potential safe havens that enhance environmental diversity by buffering the effects of large scale change, facilitating species pe...
Poster
Full-text available
It has long been recognised that parasites play an important role in shaping community structures and determining species’ distribution. However, the complex processes by which they impact and regulate host populations are still not completely understood. In intertidal mussels, phototrophic endolithic parasitism has been proven to produce both leth...
Chapter
Full-text available
Understanding species distributions and patterns of coexistence is a basic aim of ecology and fundamental to understanding not only how communities have come to be as they are but also how they will change in the future. This is particularly important when trying to predict biological responses to rapid and extreme changes in environmental conditio...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological uniformity in geographically widespread species may cause genetically distinct entities to pass unnoticed if they can only be detected by molecular approaches. The importance of uncovering such cryptic diversity is prompted by the need to understand the putative adaptive potential of populations along species ranges and to manage biod...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species can affect the function and structure of natural ecological communities, hence understanding and predicting their potential for spreading is a major ecological chal- lenge. Once established in a new region, the spread of invasive species is largely controlled by their dispersal capacity, local environmental conditions and species i...
Article
Intraspecific variability is seen as a central component of biodiversity. We investigated genetic differentiation, contemporary patterns of demographic connectivity and intraspecific variation of adaptive behavioural traits in two lineages of an intertidal mussel (Perna perna) across a tropical/subtropical biogeographic transition. Microsatellite a...
Article
Full-text available
2015. Closer to the rear edge: ecology and genetic diversity down the core-edge gradient of a marine macroalga. Ecosphere 6(2):23. http://dx.doi. Abstract. A fundamental goal in ecology is to understand distribution and abundance of species. Peripheral populations inhabiting the trailing-edge of a species' distribution may carry considerable ecolog...
Data
Material S1. Phylogenetic relationships of the currently recognized species within the genus Perna. The maximum likelihood topology of a mitochondrial data set (COI) is shown. Numbers above and below nodes correspond to ML bootstrap values and Bayesian posterior probabilities, respectively. Gray boxes indicate the three clades within P. perna recov...