Mirko Di Febbraro

Mirko Di Febbraro
Università degli Studi del Molise | Università del Molise · Department of Biosciences and Territory

PhD
Macroecologist and Ecological modeller

About

144
Publications
61,435
Reads
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1,686
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2016 - February 2020
University of Molise
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2015 - February 2016
University of Molise
Position
  • Fellow
January 2011 - March 2015
University of Molise
Position
  • PhD
Education
January 2010 - March 2011
Sapienza University of Rome
Field of study
  • Conservation biology
October 2007 - October 2009
University of Naples Federico II
Field of study
  • Natural Sciences

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
Biological significance of scat marking by otters has been a controversial subject among scientists. Using multiyear (2014-2017) data of otter spraint counts in South Korea, this study aimed to test whether the observed pattern of spraint presence/absence is driven by detection error and if/how scat counts can be a proxy for otter abundance at the...
Article
Full-text available
Seafloor topography and grain size distribution are pivotal features in marine and coastal environments, able to influence benthic community structure and ecological processes at many spatial scales. Accordingly, there is a strong interest in multiple research disciplines to obtain seafloor geological and/or habitat maps. The aim of this study was...
Article
Full-text available
The Eurasian otter is endangered in Italy, only surviving in southern river basins. The spatial and social structure of a population living at the border of the current range was explored through a noninvasive genetic study along 174 km of the Sangro river. Sampling was conducted in 2011 and 2012, collecting spraints and anal jellies at 62 marking...
Article
Full-text available
Mediterranean landscapes constitute a biodiversity hotspot where species distribution and composition have been shaped by a long history of traditional land use. In this work, we investigated the effects of landscape patterns on community composition and the functional, morphological, and ecological traits of 21 small mammal species in the Mediterr...
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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High mountain ecosystems are hotspots of biodiversity that are highly vulnerable to climate warming and land use change. In Europe, high mountain habitats are included in the EC Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive) and the identification of practices facilitating effective monitoring is crucial for meeting HD goals. We analyzed the temporal cha...
Article
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Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
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Aim Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) prescribes the quantification of species vulnerability based on three components: sensitivity, adaptive capacity and exposure. Such assessments should be performed through combined approaches that integrate trait‐based elements (e.g., measures of species sensitivity such as niche width) with correl...
Article
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Combining field collected and remotely sensed (RS) data represents one of the most promising approaches for an extensive and up-to-date ecosystem assessment. We investigated the potential of the so called spectral variability hypothesis (SVH) in linking field-collected and remote-sensed data in Mediterranean coastal dunes and explored if spectral d...
Article
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Beach litter accumulation patterns are influenced by biotic and abiotic factors, as well as by the distribution of anthropogenic sources. Although the importance of comprehensive approaches to deal with anthropogenic litter pollution is acknowledged, integrated studies including geomorphologic, biotic, and anthropic factors in relation to beach deb...
Article
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Interactions between tree species determine the dynamics of forest communities. Spatial and temporal changes in resource availability, variation in species composition and spatial distribution of trees may alter competitive interactions between species and, therefore, affect tree growth and forest productivity. In this study, we analyzed the intra...
Article
Inner Peripheries is a recent concept based on both peripherality and marginality features, thus far from the commonly adopted geographical notion of periphery. Inner Peripheries are fragile territories covering rural Europe, which suffer from depopulation, low economic potential, and weak territorial cohesion. However, these territories are extrem...
Article
The ability to develop complex social bonds and an increased capacity for behavioural flexibility in novel environments have both been forwarded as selective forces favouring the evolution of a large brain in mammals. However, large brains are energetically expensive, and in circumstances in which selective pressures are relaxed, e.g. on islands, s...
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
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
The inclusion of fossil phenotypes as ancestral character values at nodes in phylogenetic trees is known to increase both the power and reliability of phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) applications. We implemented the R function RRphylo as to integrate fossil phenotypic information as ancestral character values. We tested the new implementati...
Article
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Aim Roads impact wildlife in different ways, among which road mortality has been the most studied. Budgets in conservation biology are usually small, and macroecological approaches have been employed in recent years as the first steps towards guiding management. Carnivores are particularly vulnerable to mortality on roads due to their elevated ecol...
Article
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Coastal dunes are found at the boundary between continents and seas representing unique transitional mosaics hosting highly dynamic habitats undergoing substantial seasonal changes. Here, we implemented a land cover classification approach specifically designed for coastal landscapes accounting for the within-year temporal variability of the main c...
Article
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In the last few years, the occurrence and abundance of tree-related microhabitats and habitat trees have gained great attention across Europe as indicators of forest biodiversity. Nevertheless, observing microhabitats in the field requires time and well-trained staff. For this reason, new efficient semiautomatic systems for their identification and...
Article
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Modern humans have larger and more globular brains when compared to other primates. Such anatomical features are further reflected in the possession of a moderately asymmetrical brain with the two hemispheres apparently rotated counterclockwise and slid anteroposteriorly on one another, in what is traditionally described as the Yakovlevian torque....
Article
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Estimating fossil species’ geographic range is a major goal for paleobiologists. In the deep time, this is most commonly performed by using polygon‐based methods such as the Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP) or the Alpha‐Hull. Unfortunately, such methods provide a poor representation of the fossil species’ actual range, because they are unable to take c...
Article
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Leigh Van Valen famously stated that under constant conditions extinction probability is independent of species age. To test this 'law of constant extinction', we developed a new method using deep learning to infer age-dependent extinction and analysed 450 myr of marine life across 21 invertebrate clades. We show that extinction rate significantly...
Article
Full-text available
The validity of using spraint (otter faeces) density for population monitoring has been debated for more than 30 years. In this study, we investigated endangered Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) spraint occurrence and densities at large scales (over 23,800 km 2 , a quarter of South Korea) over three years (2014-2016). To clarify the spatial heterogenei...
Article
Invasive alien species are major drivers of global change that can have severe impacts on biodiversity and human well-being. Management strategies implemented to mitigate these impacts are based on a hierarchical approach, from prevention of invasion, via early warning and rapid response, to invasive species management. We evaluated how different...
Article
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Morphological convergence is an intensely studied macroevolutionary phenomenon. It refers to the morphological resemblance between phylogenetically distant taxa. Currently available methods to explore evolutionary convergence either: rely on the analysis of the phenotypic resemblance between sister clades as compared to their ancestor, fit differen...
Article
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Toothed whales (Odontoceti, Cetacea) are well-known for their ability to produce complex vocalizations, to use tools, to possess self-recognition, and for their extreme behavioural plasticity. The toothed whale intelligence is said to compete with that of primates, so does their extremely large brain to body size ratio. Common explanations for the...
Article
A distinctive trait in primate evolution is the expansion in brain mass. The potential drivers of this trend and how and whether encephalization influenced diversification dynamics in this group are hotly debated. We assembled a phylogeny accounting for 317 primate species, including both extant and extinct taxa, to identify macroevolutionary trend...
Article
A distinctive trait in primate evolution is the expansion in brain mass. The potential drivers of this trend and how and whether encephalization influenced diversification dynamics in this group are hotly debated. We assembled a phylogeny accounting for 317 primate species, including both extant and extinct taxa, to identify macroevolutionary trend...
Article
Full-text available
Collisions with vehicles represent the main conflict between infrastructures and wildlife, causing damages to both humans and animals. As to the latter, road mortality is a growing phenomenon and the largest single cause of death for many vertebrates. When focusing on endangered species, the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is among the most vulnerable...
Article
Full-text available
Preserving species within protected areas (PAs) does not guarantee adequate levels of protection if not coupled with conservation of functional connectivity for a target species. We propose an analytical framework to assess the effectiveness of PAs in preserving habitat and functional connectivity for mobile vertebrates. We implemented it in centra...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The establishment and spread of invasive alien species may be influenced by several mutually interacting factors, whose understanding is paramount to develop effective biosecurity policies. However, studies focused on modelling spatially explicit patterns of future invasion risk have so far focused on species response to climate change impacts,...
Data
Supplementary resources of the article: Habitat suitability vs landscape connectivity determining road-kill risk at a regional scale: a case study on European badger (Meles meles).
Article
Full-text available
Due to the recent spread of forest die-off worldwide, concerns arise about the relative influence of specific climate parameters on tree growth decline in semi-arid environments, such as the Mediterranean mountain forests. As temperatures increase, drought may reduce tree productivity and survival across these forest ecosystems. Drought-induced tre...
Article
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Cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) are an iconic component of the European late Quaternary Ice Age megafauna. Recent demographic analyses based on cave bear mtDNA sequences and refined radiocarbon dating indicate that cave bear population size and genetic diversity started to decline some 50 kilo years ago (kya). Hence, neither the coldest phase of the la...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing evolutionary trends in phenotypic means and rates requires the application of phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs). Most PCMs are unsuited to make full use of fossil information, which is a drawback, given the inclusion of such data improves, and in some cases even corrects, the proper understanding of trait evolution. Here we presen...
Data
Delta transformations to be applied in order to derive a phenotypic vector having as much spread as essig- (left) and essig+ (right). (TIF)
Data
R code. The computer code, written in R, to perform the set of simulations illustrated in the manuscript. (R)
Data
P-values plotted against the Brownian rate (sigma2) for both ‘trend’ and ‘drift’ cases. Vertical dashed lines mark significant p-values. Orange dots represent the non-significant simulations (i.e. phenotypes recognized to evolve according to the Brownian motion). (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Deadwood and microhabitats play a fundamental role in many forest ecosystem processes. Deadwood provides the substrate for a multitude of wood-dependent organisms, as well as a variety of microhabitats. Deadwood is a key factor in maintaining the ecosystem functionality and increasing the overall forest biodiversity. In Mediterranean forests, the r...
Article
Full-text available
Collisions between wildlife and vehicles represent the main conflict between infrastructures and ecosystems. Road mortality is the largest single cause of death for many vertebrates, representing a growing phenomenon of remarkable dimension. Most studies in road ecology investigated spatial roadkill patterns, showing that roadkill probability is of...
Article
Full-text available
The prevailing method for estimating the potential impact of future climate change on biological communities is to stack binary predictions from species distribution models (binary stacked species distribution models, bS-SDM). However, it has been argued that bS-SDM may overestimate species richness and, hence, community composition. Alternative ap...
Article
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Biodiversity loss and habitat degradation are big challenges to be tackled by conservation planning since their effects on both ecological and social-economic systems are remarkably detrimental. Efforts to limit anthropogenic impacts on species and habitats need to be assisted by tools for biodiversity monitoring. Effective monitoring tools could h...
Article
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The use of database technologies as a tool for implementing data for quantitative ecological studies and biodiversity conservation planning has recently attracted the attention of the biological community. Despite the fact that the number of biodiversity data sets is quickly rising, online databases of small mammals are still scarce, especially for...
Poster
Full-text available
Most research on small mammal decline focused on limited spatial and temporal scales, especially for the Mediterranean region. Landscape fragmentation and degradation are considered the main drivers of biodiversity loss, yet the synergetic effect of landscape change and biotic interactions on small mammal assemblages have been poorly investigated....
Article
Full-text available
Quantification of niche overlap represents an important topic in several aspects of ecology and conservation biology, although it could be potentially affected by imperfect detection, i.e., failure to detect a species at occupied sites. We investigate the effect of imperfect detection on niche overlap quan-tification in two arboreal rodents, the ed...
Article
Full-text available
The peregrine falcon has shown an increasing tendency to replace the lanner falcon at its breeding sites in the Mediterranean area. This has been suggested as the main cause of the reduction in the distribution of the lanner observed in central Italy. We focused on these two falcon species to disentangle the relative contribution of habitat filteri...
Article
Full-text available
Phenology is a key feature in the description of species niches to capture seasonality in resource use and climate requirements. Species distribution models (SDMs) are widespread tools to evaluate a species’ potential distribution and identify its large-scale habitat preferences. Despite its chief importance, data phenology is often neglected in SD...
Article
Full-text available
Members of the hominins - namely the so-called 'australopiths' and the species of the genus Homo - are known to possess short and deep mandibles and relatively small incisors and canines. It is commonly assumed that this suite of traits evolved in early members of the clade in response to changing environmental conditions and increased consumption...
Code
Functions for phylogenetic analysis (Castiglione et al, 2017 <doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12954>). The functions perform the estimation of phenotypic evolutionary rates, identification of phenotypic evolutionary rate shifts, quantification of direction and size of evolutionary change in multivariate traits, and the computation of ontogenetic shape vector...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Global warming is considered one of the major human-induced threats to ecosystem resilience. In particular, processes involving the adaptation capacity of forest ecosystems and the role of forest management to improve mitigation strategies still need to be understood more deeply. Hence, a multiscale framework highlighting the linkages between adapt...