Luigi Maiorano

Luigi Maiorano
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza · Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin" BBCD

PhD, University of Idaho, Department of Fish and Wildlife

About

194
Publications
76,552
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8,707
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - December 2011
University of Lausanne
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2006 - December 2012
Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"

Publications

Publications (194)
Article
Full-text available
Global changes represent possibly the greatest threat to the future of biodiversity, and this is especially true for species using very different habitats during their life cycle. The problem is even greater when dealing with human dominated landscapes (e.g., the Mediterranean basin) where climate change and habitat destruction and degradation ofte...
Article
Kolponomos newportensis is an enigmatic Miocene mammal allied to stem Pinnipedimorpha. It has been suggested that Kolponomos fed on hard-shelled benthic marine invertebrates by using its mandible as a wedge to dislodge its prey from the sea bottom by means of strong pull and torque forces. This unique feeding style was thought to originate from a s...
Article
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We have very limited knowledge of how species interact in most communities and ecosystems despite trophic relationships being fundamental for linking biodiversity to ecosystem functioning. A promising approach to fill this gap is to predict interactions based on functional traits, but many questions remain about how well we can predict interactions...
Article
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Taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversities are important facets of biodiversity. Studying them together has improved our understanding of community dynamics, ecosystem functioning, and conservation values.1–3 In contrast to species, traits, and phylogenies, the diversity of biotic interactions has so far been largely ignored as a biodivers...
Article
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Evolutionary trends (ETs) are traditionally defined as substantial changes in the state of traits through time produced by a persistent condition of directional evolution. ETs might also include directional responses to ecological, climatic or biological gradients and represent the primary evolutionary pattern at high taxonomic levels and over long...
Preprint
While species interactions are fundamental for linking biodiversity to ecosystem functioning and for conservation, large-scale empirical data are lacking for most species and ecosystems. Accumulating evidence suggests that trophic interactions are predictable from available functional trait information, but we have yet to understand how well we can...
Article
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The idea that several small, rather than a single large, habitat areas should hold the highest total species richness (the so-called SLOSS debate) brings into question the importance of habitat fragmentation to extinction risk. SLOSS studies are generally addressed over a short time scale, potentially ignoring the long-term dimension of extinction...
Article
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Context While land use change is the main driver of biodiversity loss, most biodiversity assessments either ignore it or use a simple land cover representation. Land cover representations lack the representation of land use and landscape characteristics relevant to biodiversity modeling. Objectives We developed a comprehensive and high-resolution...
Article
Species occurrence data from public repositories are widely used in biogeography, and conservation research. However, these data are prone to several sampling biases limiting their usefulness in biodiversity studies, and particularly in species distribution models (SDMs). Specifically, a geographic sampling bias can lead to overfitted SDMs while an...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Forecasting changes in species distribution under future scenarios is one of the most prolific areas of application for species distribution models (SDMs). However, no consensus yet exists on the reliability of such models for drawing conclusions on species' distribution response to changing climate. In this study, we provide an overview of com...
Article
Priorities to protect nature in Europe There is consensus among conservation scientists that protected areas should be expanded to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services, but it is often difficult to prioritize areas for protection. Considering factors that motivate conservation across Europe, an analysis by O'Connor et al. includes the valu...
Article
Dispersal from one population to another is crucial for meta-population stability and survival. Long-distance dispersal events have been widely documented in male tigers (Panthera tigris), but similar events in female tigers are less known. We opportunistically recorded a long-distance dispersal event that ended with the establishment of a new home...
Article
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Morphological convergence can be assessed using a variety of statistical methods. None of the methods proposed to date enable the visualization of convergence. All are based on the assumption that the phenotypes either converge, or do not. However, between species, morphologically similar regions of a larger structure may behave differently. Previo...
Article
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The breadth of a species' climatic niche is an important ecological trait that allows adaptation to climate change, but human activities often reduce realised niche breadth by impacting species distributions. Some life‐history traits, such as dispersal ability and reproductive speed, allow species to cope with both human impact and climate change....
Article
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Aim The recent recovery of large carnivores in Europe has been explained as resulting from a decrease in human persecution driven by widespread rural land abandonment, paralleled by forest cover increase and the consequent increase in availability of shelter and prey. We investigated whether land cover and human population density changes are relat...
Article
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Convergence consists in the independent evolution of similar traits in distantly related species. The mammalian cranio‐mandibular complex constitutes an ideal biological structure to investigate ecomorphological dynamics and the carnivorans, due to their phenotypic variability and ecological flexibility, offer an interesting case‐study to explore t...
Article
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The species–area relationship (SAR) is one of the most well‐established scaling patterns in ecology. Its implications for understanding how communities change across spatial gradients are numerous, including the effects of habitat loss on biodiversity. However, ecological communities are not mere collections of species. They are the result of inter...
Article
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Genetic diversity feeds the evolutionary process and allows populations to adapt to environmental changes. However, we still lack a thorough understanding of why hotspots of genetic diversity are so 'hot'. Here, we analysed the relative contribution of bioclimatic stability and genetic admixture between divergent lineages in shaping spatial pattern...
Article
At least six different Homo species populated the World during the latest Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The extinction of all but one of them is currently shrouded in mystery, and no consistent explanation has yet been advanced, despite the enormous importance of the matter. Here, we use a recently implemented past climate emulator and an extensive...
Article
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Homo sapiens is the only species alive able to take advantage of its cognitive abilities to inhabit almost all environments on Earth. Humans are able to culturally construct, rather than biologically inherit, their occupied climatic niche to a degree unparalleled within the animal kingdom. Precisely, when hominins acquired such an ability remains u...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Forecasting changes in species distribution under future scenarios is one of the most prolific areas of application for species distribution models (SDMs). However, no consensus yet exists on the reliability of such models for drawing conclusions on species distribution response to changing climate. In this study we provide an overview of commo...
Article
Full-text available
Documenting potential interactions between species represents a major step towards understanding and predicting the spatial and temporal structure of multi‐trophic communities and their functioning. The metaweb concept summarizes the potential trophic (and non‐trophic) interactions in a given species pool. As such, it generalizes the regional speci...
Preprint
Full-text available
The breadth of a species' climatic niche is an important ecological trait that allows adaptation to climate change, but human activities drive niche erosion. Life-history traits, such as dispersal ability and reproductive speed, instead allow species to cope with climate change. But how do these characteristics act in combination with human pressur...
Article
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Despite recent calls for integrating interaction networks into the study of large‐scale biodiversity patterns, we still lack a basic understanding of the functional characteristics of large interaction networks and how they are structured across environments. Here, building on recent advances in network science around the Eltonian niche concept, we...
Article
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Mountains are important landforms for both biodiversity and evolution of endemism. We analyzed macro-ecological patterns of distribution and endemism of European montane (i.e. with at least 70% of range inside mountain areas) mammals. Landscape of the study area was characterized by three environmental variables: land cover, land-use, and elevation...
Article
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Although much has been said on the spatial distribution of taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of vertebrates, how this diversity interacts in food webs and how these interactions change across space are largely unknown. Here, we analysed the spatial distribution of tetrapod food webs and asked whether the variation in local food web structure is...
Article
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The concept of National responsibility species (NRS) was developed to coordinate the conservation efforts of species occurring in multiple countries. Calculated as the fraction of the global species' distribution within a country, it measures the contribution of a local population to global survival of the species. However, there may be more co-occ...
Article
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Diatoms (Bacillariophyta), one of the most abundant and diverse groups of marine phytoplankton, respond rapidly to the supply of new nutrients, often out-competing other phytoplankton. Herein, we integrated analyses of the evolution, distribution and expression modulation of two gene families involved in diatom nitrogen uptake (DiAMT1 and DiNRT2),...
Article
Species ranges are changing in response to human-related disturbances and often management and conservation decisions must be based on incomplete information. In this context, species distribution models (SDMs) represent the most widely used tool, but they often lack any reference to demographic performance of the population under study, spatial st...
Article
Full-text available
Unprecedented rates of biodiversity loss raise the urgency for preserving species ability to cope with ongoing global changes. An approach in this direction is to target intra-specific hotspots of genetic diversity as conservation priorities. However, these hotspots are often identified by sampling at a spatial resolution too coarse to be useful in...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing hypothesis in biogeography is that a species’ abundance is highest at the centre of its geographical or environmental space and decreases toward the edges. Several studies tested this hypothesis and provided mixed results and overall weak support to the theory. Most studies, however, are affected by several limitations related to th...
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Phylogenetic turnover quantifies the evolutionary distance among species assemblages and is central to understanding the main drivers shaping biodiversity. It is affected both by geographic and environmental distance between sites. Therefore, analyzing phylogenetic turnover in environmental space requires removing the effect of geographic distance....
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Demand for models in biodiversity assessments is rising, but which models are adequate for the task? We propose a set of best-practice standards and detailed guidelines enabling scoring of studies based on species distribution models for use in biodiversity assessments. We reviewed and scored 400 modeling studies over the past 20 years using the pr...
Poster
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Santini L., Pironon S., Maiorano L., Thuiller W. , 2018. Addressing common pitfalls does not provide more support to geographical and ecological abundant-centre hypotheses. Ecography 42: 1–10
Preprint
Full-text available
Unprecedented rates of biodiversity loss raise the urgency for preserving species ability to cope with ongoing global changes. An approach in this direction is to target intra-specific hotspots of genetic diversity as conservation priorities. However, these hotspots are often identified by sampling at a spatial resolution too coarse to be useful in...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Although the effects of life history traits on population density have been investigated widely, how spatial environmental variation influences population density for a large range of organisms and at a broad spatial scale is poorly known. Filling this knowledge gap is crucial for global species management and conservation planning and to under...
Article
Fine-scale knowledge of how anthropogenic effects may alter habitat selection by wolves (Canis lupus) is important to inform conservation management, especially where wolf populations are expanding into more populated areas or where human activity and development are increasingly encroaching on formerly pristine environments. From 1999 to 2003, we...
Article
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Asexual taxa often have larger ranges than their sexual progenitors, particularly in areas affected by Pleistocene glaciations. The reasons given for this ‘geographical parthenogenesis’ are contentious, with expansion of the ecological niche or colonisation advantages of uniparental reproduction assumed most important in case of plants. Here, we pa...
Article
Mono-and bispecific genera are of special concern as they represent unique phylogenetic/evolutionary trajectories within larger clades. In addition, as phylogenetically older taxa are supposed to be exposed to higher rarity and extinction risk, mono- and bispecific genera may be intrinsically more prone to extinction risks than multispecies genera,...