Marco Caccianiga

Marco Caccianiga
University of Milan | UNIMI · Department of Bioscience

PhD

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162
Publications
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Publications

Publications (162)
Article
In the current global warming phase, relict glacial areas are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. They are “cold-spots” of biodiversity and of great interest both from the ecological and conservation point of view. We investigated the biological communities (plants and arthropods) hosted by one of the southernmost European glaciers:...
Article
Vegetation is often classified through phytosociology, which defines floristically and ecologically coherent units identified by diagnostic species. Since species- and community-environment relations are regulated by plant functional traits, it is likely that phytosociology has a strong functional underpinning, although the past and current phytoso...
Article
Hair can retain important biological traces for forensic investigations. Forensic scientists are used to looking for such traces on clothing and skin of victims, however, when decomposition kicks in and all that remains of the victims is the skeleton, hair may be the only tissue representing the surface of the body at the time of a crime on which b...
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Habitat monitoring in Europe is regulated by Article 17 of the Habitats Directive, which suggests the use of typical species to assess habitat conservation status. Yet, the Directive uses the term “typical” species but does not provide a definition, either for its use in reporting or for its use in impact assessments. To address the issue, an onlin...
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The cryosphere (i.e. glaciers and permafrost) and its related landforms offer a wide range of ecosystem services, thus they have strong relationships with human population. Even if these harsh environments have often been regarded as inhospitable, there is a growing amount of literature on glacial biodiversity, specifically concerning European moun...
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Glaciers are retreating worldwide, exposing new terrain to colonization by plants. Recently-deglaciated terrains have been a subject of ecological studies for a long time, as they represent a unique natural model system for examining the effects of global warming associated with glacier retreat on biodiversity and the spatio-temporal dynamic of com...
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Aldrovanda vesiculosa (Droseraceae) is a rare aquatic carnivorous plant, distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Aldrovanda populations can flower prolifically under favourable conditions, but seed set is very limited. We studied the structure of Aldrovanda pollen collected from flowers in different developmental stages (opened and non-...
Article
The present work is aimed at presenting the data, methods and criteria that are being used for the assessment of ecosystem collapse risk in Italy. ARTICLE HISTORY
Article
Indicator species with high fidelity to a-priori defined groups of sites are a relevant tool to ecologically characterize plant or animal assemblages. The identification of indicator or diagnostic species is usually performed by summarizing the species abundances within each group of sites. Species with high concentration in a given group of sites...
Article
Invasive alien plants are a major threat to biodiversity and they contribute to the unfavourable conservation status of habitats of interest to the European Community. In order to favour implementation of European Union Regulation no. 1143/2014 on invasive alien species, the Italian Society of Vegetation Science carried out a large survey led by a...
Article
Aim Ecoinformatics offer new opportunity to test islands as biogeographic and ecological models. In this paper we predicted three hypotheses: (1) plot‐based data issuing from vegetation surveys can be used to predict Island Species‐Area Relationships (ISARs) or island similarity; (2) the habitat area is an independent predictor of species richness...
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As glaciers retreat, their forelands represent "natural laboratories" for the study of primary succession. This review describes how certain arthropods conquer pristine ground and develop food webs before the establishment of vascular plants. Based on soil samples, pitfall traps, fallout and sticky traps, gut content studies, and some unpublished d...
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Centipedes (Chilopoda) are widespread and abundant predators in several kind of habitats, from forests to caves. Very few quantitative data are currently available for alpine habitats, specifically those located at high-altitudes. In this paper, we analysed data on centipedes collected by pitfall traps on different high-altitude landforms of the Ce...
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This study provides a first step toward the knowledge of the alien-dominated and co-dominated plant communities present in Italy. The first ever checklist of the alien phytocoenoses described or reported in literature for the Italian territory has been compiled, produced by data-mining in national and local thematic literature. The resulting vegeta...
Article
Plant traits and ecological strategies elucidate various aspects of ecosystem functioning and services. However, the well-recognized trade-offs evident at the species level are not always expected to mirror community-level variation. Here, we investigated, at the regional scale, the community-level trade-offs of three key plant traits representing...
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Riassunto-il detrito roccioso posto sulla superficie dei ghiacciai è in grado di ospitare una biodiversità, sia animale che vegetale, che include specie microterme a rischio di estinzione nello scenario attuale di riscaldamento climatico globale. Gli ambienti glaciali delle Alpi orientali, dominati da substrato carbonatico, non sono mai stati studi...
Presentation
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Androsace brevis is a narrow endemic plant living on windy ridges, preferring acid soils with low nitrogen content, in a restricted area of Southern Alps in Lombardy and Switzerland. The species is proposed as a model species to study the effects of climate change on the web of interactions in mountain ecosystems. During a preliminary work aimed at...
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Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
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A detailed assessment of a pasture’s functioning based on soil properties characterization, floristic composition, and ‘functional summary’ by evaluating competitor–stress tolerator–ruderal (CSR) strategies is provided for a doline in Central Italian Alps. A floristic survey was carried out at 35 sampling points, representative of the main topograp...
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In summer 2009 the first and unique Italian population of Pinguicula grandiflora Lam. was found in the Aosta Valley Region (Rutor Valley). The population, monitored over time, has been shown to be numerically stable until the autumn of 2018, when the area was affected by anthropic intervention that drastically reduced the number of individuals and...
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Nebria germari (Coleoptera: Carabidae) is a cold-adapted species currently restricted to high altitude habitats of the Eastern Alps and exhibits fragmented distribution patterns suggesting refugial occurrence. It is a brachypterous species (thus with low dispersal ability) and it has nocturnal forage behaviour (mainly predating springtails and midg...
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The authors report the results obtained by a multidisciplinary investigation of nine cases of human remains belonging to unknown Austrian WWI soldiers found in a glacial environment in the North-Eastern Alps. The aim of this research is to investigate the biological profile, pathology and cause of death, and taphonomic details of the soldiers’ bodi...
Article
Invasive alien species (IAS) are the subset of naturalized species that cause greater impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services. However, despite management actions and eradication plans, their expansion worldwide is seemingly unstoppable. In this paper, based on a large dataset of 1039 records of IAS and native plant species repres...
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Tree mortality is a key driver of forest dynamics and its occurrence is projected to increase in the future due to climate change. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the physiological mechanisms leading to death, we still lack robust indicators of mortality risk that could be applied at the individual tree scale. Here, we build on a pr...
Article
Italy is among the European countries with the greatest plant diversity due to both a great environmental heterogeneity and a long history of man-environment interactions. Trait-based approaches to ecological studies have developed greatly over recent decades worldwide, although several issues concerning the relationships between plant functional t...
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Snow can be considered an independent ecosystem that hosts active microbial communities. Snow microbial communities have been extensively investigated in the Arctic and in the Antarctica, but rarely in mid-latitude mountain areas. In this study, we investigated the bacterial communities of snow collected in four glacierized areas (Alps, Eastern Ana...
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The increasing use of phylogenetic methods in community ecology recognizes that accumulated evolutionary differences among species mirrors, to some extent, ecological processes. The scope of this work is thus to propose a new method for the measurement of community-level phylogenetic redundancy, which takes into account the branching pattern of the...
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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...
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Tobacco seeds show a coat-imposed dormancy in which the seed envelope tissues (testa and endosperm) impose a physical constraint on the radicle protrusion. The germination-limiting process is represented by the endosperm rupture which is induced by cell-wall weakening. Transgenic tobacco seeds, obtained by insertion of exogenous genes codifying for...
Data
Detection of VT2e-B and F18 genes in the transgenic tobacco plants. A, B pBIpGLOB binary vectors maps for F18 and VT2eB. C DNA samples from WT and transgenic lines were analyzed by PCR using specific primers for the detection of VT2e-B and F18 genes in R3 generation. The analyses confirmed the stable integration of the exogenous genes in both lines...
Data
Soil seed germination. The graph shows the mean time of seedling of WT and transgenic lines seeds grown in soil. Seedling time was significantly delayed in transgenic seeds compared to WT. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
1. Patterns of species richness and species assemblage composition of ground-dwelling arthropods in primary successions along glacier forelands are traditionally described using a taxonomic approach. On the other hand, the functional trait approach could ensure a better characterisation of their colonisation strategies in these types of habitat. 2...
Article
Debris-covered glaciers are glaciers with the largest part of the ablation zone covered by a debris layer. Recent papers showed that debris-covered glaciers are able to support plant and arthropod life, advancing the hypothesis that such landforms could act as warm-stage refugia for cold-adapted species due to their microclimate features and therma...
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1.Competitor, Stress-tolerator, Ruderal (CSR) theory is a prominent plant functional strategy scheme previously applied to local floras. Globally, the wide geographic and phylogenetic coverage of available values of leaf area (LA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and specific leaf area (SLA) (representing, respectively, interspecific variation in pl...
Data
A field-portable list of mean CSR strategies for common plant species, adapted from Table S1 of Pierce et al. (2017) Functional Ecology 31: 444–457 doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12722 for use on smartphones
Data
‘StrateFy’, the global vascular plant CSR calculator tool from Pierce et al. (2017; Funct. Ecol. 31(2), 444-457) in Microsoft Excel format.
Article
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Active rock glaciers are periglacial landforms consisting of coarse debris with interstitial ice or ice-core. Recent studies showed that such landforms are able to support plant and arthropod life and could act as warm-stage refugia for cold-adapted species due to their microclimate features and thermal inertia. However, integrated research compari...
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Primary successions of glacier forelands are unique model systems to investigate community dynamics and assembly processes. However, successional changes of plant and insect communities have been mainly analysed separately. Therefore, changes in plant–insect interactions along successional gradients on glacier forelands remain unknown, despite thei...
Article
Tree mortality is a key factor influencing forest functions and dynamics, but our understanding of the mechanisms leading to mortality and the associated changes in tree growth rates are still limited. We compiled a new pan-continental tree-ring width database from sites where both dead and living trees were sampled (2,970 dead and 4,224 living tre...
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Full-text available
Debris-covered glaciers are glaciers with the ablation zone covered by a debris layer, which are able to persist below the treeline and to support plant life. These landforms are increasing on many mountain regions of the world as consequence of climate change, providing new habitat for plant colonization, but their vegetation features are still li...