Nicoletta Cannone

Nicoletta Cannone
Università degli Studi dell'Insubria | UNINSUBRIA · Department of Science and High Technology

Degree of Natural Sciences

About

76
Publications
26,488
Reads
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2,156
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2010 - present
Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Position
  • Associate Professor in Systematic Botany
Description
  • Teaching: 1) Systematic Botany (BSC in Nature and Environment Sciences) 2) Vegetation Biodiversity and Climate Change (MSC in Environmental Sciences)
Education
May 1995 - May 1998
University of Pavia
Field of study
  • Vegetation Ecology - Geobotany

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
The impact of global warming on biological communities colonizing European alpine ecosystems was recently studied. Hexagonal open top chambers (OTCs) were used for simulating a short‐term in situ warming (estimated around 1°C) in some alpine soils to predict the impact of ongoing climate change on resident microbial communities. Total microbial DNA...
Article
Full-text available
For more than five decades, research has been conducted at Ny-Ålesund, in Svalbard, Norway, to understand the structure and functioning of High-Arctic ecosystems and the profound impacts on them of environmental change. Terrestrial, freshwater, glacial and marine ecosystems are accessible year-round from Ny-Ålesund, providing unique opportunities f...
Article
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Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Article
As the European Alps are experiencing a strong climate warming; this study analyzed the soil microbiome at different altitudes and among different vegetation types at the Stelvio Pass (Italian Alps), aiming to i) characterize the composition and functional potential of the microbiome of soils and their gene expression during the peak vegetative sta...
Article
The strong air temperature warming between the 1950s and 2016 in the Antarctic Peninsula region¹ exceeded the global average warming²,³ with evident impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and the two native Antarctic vascular plants Deschampsia antarctica Desv. and Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) Bartl.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Subsequently, a short but intens...
Article
Shrub encroachment, a globally recognized response to climate warming, usually involves late successional species in mountain environments, without alteration to climax communities. We show that a major ecosystem change is occurring in the European Alps across a 1000 m elevation gradient, with pioneer hygrophilous Salix shrubs, previously typical o...
Article
Snow cover changes can have important effects on ecosystems, especially where spatial variability in cover is high, influencing the biogeochemical conditions of the underlying soil as well as the vegetation. In this study, snow thickness and areal distribution were monitored using a time lapse camera over a grid of 15 × 20 m between 2009 and 2017 a...
Article
Full-text available
High elevation areas are sensitive and vulnerable to climate change and exhibited relatively rapid changes in response to warming involving changes of floristic composition, species upward migration, shrub and tree encroachment and surface area changes. For this reason, it is important to provide quantitative studies as tools allowing a long-term m...
Article
Antarctica is the last pristine environment on Earth, its biota being adapted to the harsh and extreme polar climate. Until now, soil formation and vegetation development in continental Antarctica were considered very slow due to the extreme conditions of this polar desert. Since the austral summer 2002/2003, a long-term monitoring network of the t...
Article
Rock glaciers are periglacial landforms sensitive to climate change, and a harsh environment for vegetation colonization due to the potential occurrence of surface instability. Changes of rock glacier vegetation would provide evidence of the importance of climate change impacts, as the limitation provided by physical disturbance could be overcome b...
Article
Full-text available
Observations of changes in phenology have provided some of the strongest signals of the effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), initiated in the early 1990s, established a common protocol to measure plant phenology in tundra study areas across the globe. Today, this valuable collection of phe...
Article
Soil enzymatic activity was assessed in the Stelvio Pass area (Italian Central Alps) aiming to define the possible effects of climate change on microbial functioning. Two sites at two different elevations were chosen, a subalpine (2239 m) and an alpine belt (2604-2624 m), with mean annual air temperature differing by almost 3 °C, coherent with the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research in environmental science relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature at around 2 meter above ground1-3. These climatic grids however fail to reflect conditions near and below the soil surface, where critical ecosystem functions such as soil carbon storage are controlled and most biodiversity resides4-8...
Article
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Thermokarst depressions are widespread phenomena due to permafrost degradation in the Arctic, whereas only few are known from mountain permafrost of the mid‐latitudes. In the Italian Central Alps, close to the Stelvio Pass (2,763 m above sea level), a ski run was built in 1987. Since 1981, statistically significant air warming has been recorded, es...
Article
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Background: Antarctica is among the world’s last great wildernesses, but the anthropogenic activities and associated infrastructures threaten its fragile biota. We quantify the impact of the construction of a 2200 m long gravel runway airstrip for airfreight operations of the Italian research station on vegetation ecosystems at Boulder Clay (contin...
Article
Full-text available
Climate warming can induce the encroachment of shrubs and may trigger treeline dynamics. However, the responses of shrubs and trees to climate change may be modulated by other environmental drivers such as land-use change and biological interactions. The European Alps are one of the three areas experiencing the most intense warming globally in the...
Article
Full-text available
Current analyses and predictions of spatially‐explicit patterns and processes in ecology most often rely on climate data interpolated from standardized weather stations. This interpolated climate data represents long‐term average thermal conditions at coarse spatial resolutions only. Hence, many climate‐forcing factors that operate at fine spatiote...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate and land use change are causing woody plant encroachment in arctic, alpine, and arid/semiarid ecosystems around the world, yet our understanding of the belowground impacts of this phenomenon is limited. We conducted a globally distributed field study of 13 alpine sites across 4 continents undergoing woody plant encroachment and sampl...
Article
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Landscape evolution is occurring at rapid rates in alpine areas in response to recent climate warming, also due to the susceptibility and the heterogeneity of these environments. Here we present a prediction model of surface displacements that takes into account both topographic and climatic variables. Observed points of surficial displacements hav...
Article
During the past decades, the montane and subalpine belts of many European mountains experienced agricultural land abandonment followed by spontaneous recolonization of trees and shrubs on semi-natural mountain grasslands, potentially leading to severe losses in biodiversity. Here we analyse the spatial and temporal patterns of forest encroachment o...
Article
Full-text available
The dispersal routes of taxa with transoceanic disjunctions remain poorly understood, with the potential roles of Antarctica not yet demonstrated. Mosses are suitable organisms to test direct intra‐Antarctic dispersal, as major component of the extant Antarctic flora, with the cosmopolitan moss Bryum argenteum as ideal target species. We analyzed t...
Article
Ground surface temperature (GST) and active layer thickness (ALT) are key indicators of climate change (CC) in permafrost regions, with their relationships with climate and vegetation being crucial for the understanding of future climate change scenarios, as well as of CC feedbacks on the carbon cycle and water balance. Antarctic ice free-areas hos...
Article
Full-text available
Current analyses and predictions of spatially‐explicit patterns and processes in ecology most often rely on climate data interpolated from standardized weather stations. This interpolated climate data represents long‐term average thermal conditions at coarse spatial resolutions only. Hence, many climate‐forcing factors that operate at fine spatiote...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species are among the most significant conservation threats for Antarctica, and the South Orkney Islands are highly exposed to this threat because of their location and intensity of human activity. The alien flowering plant species Poa annua is known to occur at several locations in the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Isla...
Article
p>In continental Antarctica, autotrophs are exclusively represented by cyanobacteria, algae, lichens and mosses. Consequently, Antarctic soil communities are expected to be rather simple and primarily dominated by microorganisms. Recently, a change in abundance of mosses and lichens has been observed in continental Antarctica in response to an incr...
Article
Full-text available
In the version of this Article originally published, the following sentence was missing from the Acknowledgements: “This work was supported by the Norwegian Research Council SnoEco project, grant number 230970”. This text has now been added.
Article
Terrestrial Arctic ecosystems play a key role in the global carbon (C) cycle, as they store a large amount of organic matter in permafrost. Among regions with continuous permafrost, Svalbard has one of the warmest permafrost and may provide a template of the environmental responses of Arctic regions to future climate change. We analyze the CO2 flux...
Article
The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) constitutes the warmest region of Antarctica, although 98% of the surface is still covered by glaciers. The region shows contrasting geographic and climatic properties, which have conditioned past and present glacial activity. This paper constitutes a review of the spatial and temporal patterns of paraglacial activity a...
Article
Full-text available
Advancing phenology is one of the most visible effects of climate change on plant communities, and has been especially pronounced in temperature-limited tundra ecosystems. However, phenological responses have been shown to differ greatly between species, with some species shifting phenology more than others. We analysed a database of 42,689 tundra...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctica is considered among the world’s last great wildernesses, but its current network of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) is inadequate, unrepresentative and at risk, needing urgent expansion due to the vulnerability of Antarctica to increasing threats from climate change and human activities. Among the existing ASPAs, no. 129 Roth...
Article
Full-text available
Needle ice growth is one of the more widespread and easily visible, but less studied, climate related processes shaping soil evolution, surface dynamics and ecosystem changes in the alpine environments. Here, we show the results of the monitoring of needle ice development at four plots located at 2670 m a.s.l. close to the Stelvio Pass in the Itali...
Article
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Cryptobiosis is a reversible ametabolic state of life characterized by the ceasing of all metabolic processes, allowing survival of periods of intense adverse conditions. Here we show that 1) entire moss individuals, dated by ¹⁴C, survived through cryptobiosis during six centuries of cold-based glacier burial in Antarctica, 2) after re-exposure due...
Article
Mosses are dominant components of high-latitude environments, and Signy Island (maritime Antarctic) provides a representative example of polar cryptogam-dominated terrestrial ecosystems. In 2011, we mapped all moss banks, their characteristics (thickness, area, floristic composition) and investigated their relationship with selected environmental f...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change may turn Arctic biomes from carbon sinks into sources and vice versa, depending on the balance between gross ecosystem photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration (ER) and the resulting net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Photosynthetic capacity is species specific, and thus, it is important to quantify the contribution of different target plant...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of three regions of the planet that have experienced the highest rates of climate warming over recent decades. Based on a comprehensive large-scale resurvey, allowing comparison of new (2009) and historical data (1960s), we show that the two native Antarctic vascular plant species have exhibited significant increases...
Article
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At a global scale, there is no evidence for synchronous multi-decadal warm (‘Medieval Warm Period’, MWP) or cold (‘Little Ice Age’, LIA) periods in the late Holocene. On the other hand, there is good correspondence globally in the timing of MWP or LIA and phases of glacier retreat and advance, respectively, with local exceptions mainly explained by...
Article
Systematic surveys of the lichen floras of Schirmacher Oasis (Queen Maud Land, continental Antarctic), Victoria Land (Ross Sector, continental Antarctic) and Admiralty Bay (South Shetland Islands, maritime Antarctic) were compared to help infer the major factors influencing patterns of diversity and biogeography in the three areas. Biogeographic pa...
Poster
Full-text available
Antarctic landmass is far from the main southern hemisphere landmasses, determining an ecological barrier for the biota relationships, potentially reducing the genetic connectivity and driving towards local isolation. It is almost exclusively populated by cryptogams, particularly bryophytes and lichens. Bryum argenteum is a typical moss species, ch...
Article
Full-text available
Continental Antarctica represents the last pristine environment on Earth and is one of the most suitable contexts to analyze the relations between climate, active layer and vegetation. In 2000 we started long-term monitoring of the climate, permafrost, active layer and vegetation in Victoria Land, continental Antarctica. Our data confirm the stabil...
Article
Full-text available
The fate of alpine species in response to climate warming is still unclear. We analyze effects of climate warming on the composition of alpine plants communities and unravel the range filling of communities within a belt from long-term true upward shift processes. In the European Alps we re-sampled in 2003 the vegetation at sites studied in 1953 an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
I cambiamenti climatici in atto stanno influenzando in modo decisivo sia la biodiversità sia i processi ecosistemici degli ambienti terrestri. Tra gli effetti maggiormente evidenti si registrano alterazioni delle tempistiche di eventi naturali ciclici, come l’anticipazione nella fenologia delle piante e un cambiamento degli eventi migratori primave...
Article
The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a strong climate warming trend of + 0.53 °C (mean annual air temperature) over the last 50 years. In the Polar Regions, changes in vegetation and permafrost due to a warming climate are expected to produce strong feedbacks to climate and, despite their relatively small areal extent, ice-free areas in Antarcti...
Article
Full-text available
A directional primary succession with moderate species replacement was quantitatively characterized on Signy Island in zones of a glacial valley corresponding to their age since deglaciation. A continuous increase in diversity and abundance of lichens and bryophytes was observed between terrains deglaciated in the late 20th century, to areas where...
Article
In order to contribute to the reconstruction of the deglaciation history of the Marguerite Bay area (~ 68°S, Maritime Antarctic) and to estimate the rock weathering rate in this Antarctic sector, 28 sites (7 on Rothera Point and 21 on Anchorage Island) were characterised using Schmidt Hammer values. The weathering effect of two of the most widespre...
Article
A CALM grid with a data logger system to monitor the active layer thermal regime was established on Signy Island (60°43′S, 45°38′W at 80 m a.s.l.) in December 2005. The active layer at each of the 36 nodes of the grid was monitored measuring the ground temperature at least at 4 different depths between 0.02 and 0.4 m at the end of the summer season...
Article
Full-text available
The magnitude and even direction of recent Antarctic climate change is still debated because the paucity of long and complete instrumental data records. While along Antarctic Peninsula a strong warming coupled with large retreat of glaciers occurred, in continental Antarctica a cooling was recently detected. Here, the first existing permafrost data...
Article
Full-text available
Bryophytes exhibit a decline in species richness with latitude across the sub-Antarctic islands, Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic continent, but not within the Antarctic continent itself. We analyzed diversity and biogeographic patterns of bryophytes at intra-regional scale across the Ross Sector of continental Antarctica, also comparing the “coas...
Article
The mechanical and chemical effects of lichens on the outer and inner surfaces of tafoni features were investigated through a multidisciplinary approach at two locations (Oasi 74°42'S, 164°07'E, 40-250 m a.s.l.; Mount Keinath, 74°32'S; 163°58'E; 850 m a.s.l.) close to the Italian Antarctic station (Mario Zucchelli). Outer tafoni roof surfaces show...
Article
Full-text available
Flowering plants have expanded rapidly in Antarctica over the past 50 years. A study now reveals that an efficient way of acquiring nitrogen from protein-rich soils as they decompose has allowed these plants to take full advantage of a warming climate.
Article
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Signy Island has experienced a dramatic increase in fur seal numbers over recent decades, which has led to the devastation of lowland terrestrial vegetation, with the eradication of moss turfs and carpets being the most prominent feature. Here we demonstrate that fur seals also affect the other major component of this region’s typical cryptogamic v...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships between vegetation patterns and periglacial features and their underlying ecology are still poorly understood and lack specific investigations in Antarctica. Here we present the results of vegetation colonization of different types of sorted patterned ground and gelifluction features (lobes and terracettes) at four sites in northe...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships between vegetation colonization and landslide disturbance are analyzed for 12 active-layer detachments of differing ages located in three areas of the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island (80°N). We discuss vegetation as an age index for landslides and a way to assess the time needed for complete recolonization of the surfaces since la...
Article
Results obtained during the International Polar Year (IPY) on the thermal state of permafrost and the active layer in the Antarctic are presented, forming part of ANTPAS (‘Antarctic Permafrost and Soils’), which was one of the key projects developed by the International Permafrost Association and the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research for...
Article
Antarctica provides natural models that are influenced exclusively by climate change and/or other natural processes because the anthropogenic effects are negligible. The key environmental components of these ecosystems consist of vegetation and the underlying permafrost. The surface energy balance and, consequently, the ground surface temperature (...
Article
Question: Do soil water content and/or soil nitrogen (N) content and/or soil phosphorus (P) content affect the biomass of Vaccinium myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea in a sub-alpine heath? Location: Dolomites, northern Italy, 1800 m a.s.l. Methods: We determined above-ground and below-ground biomass of the shrubs at three sites, each on a different subs...
Article
The vegetation in a high alpine site of the European Alps experienced changes in area between 1953 and 2003 as a result of climate change (Cannone et al. 2007). Shrubs showed rapid expansion rates of 5.6% per decade at altitudes between 2400 m and 2500 m. Above 2500 m, vegetation coverage exhibited unexpected patterns of regression associated with...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a new objectively-generated vegetation classification for southern and northern Victoria Land (continental Antarctica) based on the floristic composition of the plant communities. The new classification aims to integrate the existing physiognomic classification of the cryptogamic Antarctic tundra, provide useful data on floristi...
Article
In the European Alps the increase in air temperature was more than twice the increase in global mean temperature over the last 50 years. The abiotic (glacial) and the biotic components (plants and vegetation) of the mountain environment are showing ample evidence of climate change impacts. In the Alps most small glaciers (80% of total glacial cover...
Article
Through the cooperative efforts of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica (EBA) Project and the Latitudinal Gradient Project (LGP), a monitoring network was established in Victoria Land in 2002 to assess the impacts of climate change on vegetation, soils, active-layer dynamics, and permafrost...
Article
Climate change is now evident also in Antarctica, with impacts both on the abiotic and the biotic components of ecosystems, particularly on permafrost, active layer thickness, vegetation, and soil properties. Permafrost ecosystems are recognized to be sensitive to the influences of the changing climate, which may activate, through complex mechanism...
Article
The vegetation in a high alpine site of the European Alps experienced changes in area between 1953 and 2003 as a result of climate change. Shrubs showed rapid expansion rates of 5.6% per decade at altitudes between 2400 m and 2500 m. Above 2500 m, vegetation coverage exhibited unexpected patterns of regression associated with increased precipitatio...
Article
Full-text available
A network for monitoring change in the vegetation communities to assess the impact of future climate changes was established in Victoria Land (Continental Antarctica) in 2002 and 2003. The network is within the framework of the SCAR project RiSCC (Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change in Antarctic terrestrial and limnetic ecosystems), and in coope...
Article
A multidisciplinary study was carried out to understand the interactions between biotic and abiotic processes in granite weathering in ice-free areas of Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Examples of tafoni, pits and grooves were analyzed, focusing on their morphometry, infills, weathering rind types and vegetation patterns. Surface and subsurface...
Article
The variation in the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios was used to determine the source of organic matter present in Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. The differences in the isotope ratios of N and C could be retraced to the different sources available (the marine ecosystem or terrestrial decomposition for N and dissolved or atmospheric CO2...
Article
Within RiSCC project both in Maritime and in northern Victoria Land the system permafrost and vegetation has been monitored during the summers 2000/2001 and 2001/2002.The results demonstrate that vegetation exerts a buffering effect on the ground thermal regime and that its role in the energy balance of the surface ground varies in respect with the...
Article
Flora and vegetation communities have been analysed in 24 sites, located across a latitudinal gradient from 72° to 77°S, in Victoria Land (Continental Antarctica). The study areas have been selected in different geographical, lithological and environmental conditions, in order describe the flora and vegetation associated to the widest range of ecol...