Roberto Danovaro

Roberto Danovaro
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Stazione Zoologica

Prof-

About

592
Publications
190,149
Reads
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27,478
Citations
Introduction
My research interests are mainly focused on marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and organisms interactions, with a multi- and interdisciplinary approach aimed at preserving the marine life, goods and services for an eco-sustainable development
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - December 2017
November 2010 - November 2013
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Position
  • Pro Rector (deleegate od the Rector) for the Research
November 2005 - May 2014
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
October 1989 - October 1992
Università di Pisa
Field of study
  • Marine Sciences
November 1984 - October 1988
Università degli Studi di Genova
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (592)
Article
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Cold-water coral (CWC) systems are hotspots of biodiversity that need protection from the increasing human impacts and global climate change. The restoration of degraded cold-water coral reefs may be conducted through transplantation of nubbins. To do so, we need to set up the optimal conditions for CWCs livelihood in an aquarium setting. Here we i...
Data
Supplementary materials of the article "The rise and fall of an alien: why the successful colonizer Littorina saxatilis failed to invade the Mediterranean Sea"
Article
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Understanding what determines range expansion or extinction is crucial to predict the success of biological invaders. We tackled this long-standing question from an unparalleled perspective using the failed expansions in Littorina saxatilis and investigated its present and past habitat suitability in Europe through Ecological Niche Modelling. This...
Article
Growing water demands and decreasing water supplies are exacerbating water scarcity, which is one of the challenges for sustainable development. Desalination is expanding worldwide, particularly in the Mediterranean region and plants discharge at sea large amounts of hypersaline brines, which might have consequences on marine life. We report the re...
Article
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The Northern Adriatic Sea is historically subjected to intensive bottom trawling and hydraulic dredging for clam harvesting, which are known to have deleterious effects on benthic habitats. In order to gather information on the destructive impact of hydraulic dredging, we investigated the abundance and assemblage composition of soft-bottom macrofau...
Article
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The Aeolian Islands (Mediterranean Sea) host a unique hydrothermal system called the “Smoking Land” due to the presence of over 200 volcanic CO2-vents, resulting in water acidification phenomena and the creation of an acidified benthic environment. Here, we report the results of a study conducted at three sites located at ca. 16, 40, and 80 m of de...
Article
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Recent advances in robotic design, autonomy and sensor integration create solutions for the exploration of deep-sea environments, transferable to the oceans of icy moons. Marine platforms do not yet have the mission autonomy capacity of their space counterparts (e.g., the state of the art Mars Perseverance rover mission), although different levels...
Article
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Global warming is causing the increase in intensity and frequency of heatwaves, which are often associated with mass mortality events of marine organisms from shallow and mesophotic rocky habitats, including gorgonians and other sessile organisms. We investigated the microbiome responses of the gorgonians Paramuricea clavata, Eunicella cavolini, an...
Article
Industrial seabed mining is expected to cause significant impacts on marine ecosystems, including physical disturbance and the generation of plumes of toxin-laden water. Portmán Bay (NW Mediterranean Sea), where an estimated amount of 60 Mt of mine tailings from sulphide ores were dumped from 1957 to 1990, is one of the most metal-polluted marine a...
Article
Deep-sea ecosystems of the Iberian margin have been widely impacted over the past decades, but the limited knowledge on their biodiversity and functioning limits our ability to contribute to their conservation. So far, in the Gulf of Cadiz, research has mostly been focused on megabenthic assemblages associated to mud volcanoes. However, several oth...
Article
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Fungi are a ubiquitous component of marine systems, but their quantitative relevance, biodiversity and ecological role in benthic deep-sea ecosystems remain largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated fungal abundance, diversity and assemblage composition in two benthic deep-sea sites of the Ross Sea (Southern Ocean, Antarctica), characteriz...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding what determines range expansion or extinction is crucial to predict the success of biological invaders and effectively deal with biodiversity changes. We tackled this long-standing question from an unparalleled perspective using the failed expansions in Littorina saxatilis and investigating its present and past habitat suitability in...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea ecosystems are facing degradation which could have severe consequences for biodiversity and the livelihoods of coastal populations. Ecosystem restoration as a natural based solution has been regarded as a useful means to recover ecosystems. The study provides a social cost-benefit analysis for a proposed project to restore the Dohrn Canyon...
Article
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Algal habitat-forming forests composed of fucalean brown seaweeds ( Cystoseira , Ericaria , and Gongolaria ) have severely declined along the Mediterranean coasts, endangering the maintenance of essential ecosystem services. Numerous factors determine the loss of these assemblages and operate at different spatial scales, which must be identified to...
Article
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Restoration is considered an effective strategy to accelerate the recovery of biological communities at local scale. However, the effects of restoration actions in the marine ecosystems are still unpredictable. We performed a global analysis of published literature to identify the factors increasing the probability of restoration success in coastal...
Article
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The cumulative impact of microplastic and organic enrichment is still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the microplastic contamination, the organic enrichment and their effects on meiofaunal distribution and diversity in two islands of the Maldivian archipelago: one more pristine, and another strongly anthropized. Field studies were coupled wi...
Article
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Abyssal plains cover more than half of Earth’s surface, and the main food source in these ecosystems is phytodetritus, mainly originating from primary producers in the euphotic zone of the ocean. Global climate change is influencing phytoplankton abundance, productivity and distributions. Increasing importance of picoplankton over diatom as primary...
Conference Paper
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Fucalean brown algae of the genera Carpodesmia, Cystoseira and Treptacantha are a typical feature of shallow subtidal Mediterranean habitats, where these habitat-forming seaweeds produce canopies playing a key role in the functioning of coastal ecosystems. In recent decades these communities have undergone a major decline in cover and biomass; this...
Article
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Benthic habitats of the deep Mediterranean Sea and the biodiversity they host are increasingly jeopardized by increasing human pressures, both direct and indirect, which encompass fisheries, chemical and acoustic pollution, littering, oil and gas exploration and production and marine infrastructures (i.e., cable and pipeline laying), and bioprospec...
Presentation
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Talk at the Society for Ecological Restoration SER21 World Conference 21-24.06.2021
Article
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Mechatronic and soft robotics are taking inspiration from the animal kingdom to create new high-performance robots. Here, we focused on marine biomimetic research and used innovative bibliographic statistics tools, to highlight established and emerging knowledge domains. A total of 6980 scientific publications retrieved from the Scopus database (19...
Article
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The deep sea (i.e., >200 m depth) is a highly dynamic environment where benthic ecosystems are functionally and ecologically connected with the overlying water column and the surface. In the aphotic deep sea, organisms rely on external signals to synchronize their biological clocks. Apart from responding to cyclic hydrodynamic patterns and periodic...
Article
Multiple human impacts on natural ecosystems cause ongoing widespread habitat loss, with consequent decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Seas and oceans, the largest biomes of the biosphere, show increasing numbers of degraded habitats. Ecological restoration offers a major tool to reverse this trend and recover biodiversity, along with...
Article
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The abyssal plain covers more than half the Earth’s surface. The main food source to abyssal ecosystems is phytodetritus, which originates from phytoplankton in the surface ocean, and thus its variability to the seafloor is a major driver of abyssal ecosystem biomass and functioning. In this study, we conducted a comparative survey on organic matte...
Article
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High-resolution images of Mars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rovers revealed mm-size loose haematite spherulitic deposits (nicknamed “blueberries”) similar to terrestrial iron-ooids, for which both abiotic and biotic genetic hypotheses have been proposed. Understanding the formation mechanism of these haematite spherules...
Article
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Acidified marine systems represent “natural laboratories”, which provide opportunities to investigate the impacts of ocean acidification on different living components, including microbes. Here, we compared the benthic microbial response in four naturally acidified sites within the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea characterized by different acidification so...
Article
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Microplastics are recognised as a potential global threat to marine ecosystems, but the biological mechanisms determining their impact on marine life are still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of microplastics on the red coral, a long-lived habitat-forming organism belonging to the Corallium genus, which is present at almost all l...
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The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development presents an exceptional opportunity to effect positive change in ocean use. We outline what is required of the deep-sea research community to achieve these ambitious objectives.
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Divulgative paper published in Journal Eco Magazine, Deep Sea Issue
Article
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The ocean plays a crucial role in the functioning of the Earth System and in the provision of vital goods and services. The United Nations (UN) declared 2021–2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The Roadmap for the Ocean Decade aims to achieve six critical societal outcomes (SOs) by 2030, through the pursuit of four o...
Article
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Habitat loss is jeopardizing marine biodiversity. In the Mediterranean Sea, the algal forests of Cystoseira spp. form one of the most complex, productive and vulnerable shallow-water habitats. These forests are rapidly regressing with negative impact on the associated biodiversity, and potential consequences in terms of ecosystem functioning. Here,...
Article
Acoustic approaches have been recently proposed to investigate critical ecological issues, such as biodiversity loss and different typologies of impacts, including climate change. However, the extensive use of acoustic monitoring is hampered by the lack of algorithms enabling the discrimination among different sound sources (e.g. geophysical, anthr...
Article
This paper investigated the long-term changes (from 1973 to 2013) of the seagrass meadows of Zostera marina, Zostera noltei and Cymodocea nodosa in the Adriatic Sea subjected to multiple pressures. We examined the changes of the meadows by means of field data collection, observations and analysis of aerial photography to identify the most important...
Article
Seagrass meadows play a key role in the provisioning of ecosystem goods and services. These systems are extremely vulnerable to multiple anthropogenic impacts. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new techniques to efficiently restore degraded seagrass meadows. Here we tested the efficacy and efficiency of a new technique of seagrass trans...
Article
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Many of the marine policy frameworks developed to protect biodiversity in deep-sea areas, including areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), include indicators to assess policy objectives. These frameworks often have specific guidance on how the indicators should be applied and interpreted. Selection of indicators is an important process and thos...
Article
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In this paper, the advantages of shaping a non-conventional triple collocation-based calibration of a wave propagation model is pointed out. Illustrated through a case study in the Bagnoli-Coroglio Bay (central Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy), a multi-comparison between numerical data and direct measurements have been carried out. The nearshore wave propaga...
Article
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The date mussel Lithophaga lithophaga is an edible endolithic bivalve, protected by the EU Habitats Directive and other international agreements, living inside carbonate rocks. Its illegal harvesting is carried by breaking the rocks where the bivalve grows. The impact has cascade consequences as it causes permanent changes in the substrate characte...
Article
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Polymetallic nodules on abyssal seafloor represent a major reservoir of valuable metals. Here we analysed fungal-mediated leaching of metals from nodules collected at ca. 5000 m depth in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone of the Pacific Ocean. The bioleaching efficiency of Aspergillus and a mixed cultures of A. niger and Trichoderma sp., at diffe...
Article
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The scientific literature available on deep-sea biodiversity is ample and covers a wide array of objectives, geographic areas, and topics. It also explores the links between ecosystem functioning and productivity as well as modeling, management, and exploitation. New statistical analytical tools now allow the comprehensive monitoring of the status...
Article
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Deep-sea ecological monitoring is increasingly recognized as indispensable for the comprehension of the largest biome on Earth, but at the same time it is subjected to growing human impacts for the exploitation of biotic and abiotic resources. Here, we present the Naples Ecological REsearch (NEREA) stand-alone observatory concept (NEREA-fix), an in...
Article
Portmán Bay is one of the most contaminated and chronically impacted coastal marine areas of the world. Here, from the 1957 to 1990, about 60 million tons of mine tailings from the processing of sulfide ores were dumped directly at the shoreline. The resulting deposit provides a unique opportunity to assess the impact of mine tailings on coastal ma...
Article
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Measuring biodiversity simultaneously in different locations, at different temporal scales, and over wide spatial scales is of strategic importance for the improvement of our understanding of the functioning of marine ecosystems and for the conservation of their biodiversity. Monitoring networks of cabled observatories, along with other docked auto...
Article
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To understand the restoration potential of degraded habitats, it is important to know the key processes and habitat features that allow for recovery after disturbance. As part of the EU (Horizon 2020) funded MERCES project, a group of European experts compiled and assessed current knowledge, from both past and ongoing restoration efforts, within th...
Article
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1. Vegetated marine and freshwater habitats are being increasingly lost around the world. Habitat restoration is a critical step for conserving these valuable habitats, but new approaches are needed to increase restoration success and ensure their survival. 2. We investigated interactions between plants and bivalves through a review and analysis of...
Article
Pollutants alter marine systems, interfering with provisioning of ecosystem services; understanding their interaction with ecological communities is therefore critical to inform environmental management. Here we propose a joint interaction- and compositional-based analysis for ecological status assessment and apply it on the benthic communities of...
Article
Dismissed industrial plants with chronic environmental contamination globally affect all levels of biological organization in concert with other natural and anthropogenic perturbations. Assessing the impact of such perturbations and finding effective ways to mitigate them have clear ecological and societal implications. Through indoor manipulative...
Article
In marinas and harbours, the accumulation of pollutants in sediments, combined with poor exchange of water with the open sea, poses a major environmental threat. The presence of photosynthetic organisms and the related oxygen production, however, may alleviate the negative effects of environmental contamination on heterotrophic organisms, enhancing...
Article
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Biodiversity loss and climate change simultaneously threaten marine ecosystems, yet their interactions remain largely unknown. Ocean acidification severely affects a wide variety of marine organisms and recent studies have predicted major impacts at the pH conditions expected for 2100. However, despite the renowned interdependence between biodivers...
Article
Spain), a region of confluence between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, with intense maritime traffic. Several geological features, such as canyons, open slopes and contourite furrows and channels, were surveyed by remotely operated vehicle (ROV) observations between depths of 220 and 1000 m. Marine litter was quantified by grouping the observations...
Article
Marine sediments store complex mixtures of compounds, including heavy metals, organotins and a large array of other contaminants. Sediment quality monitoring, characterization and management are priorities, due to potential impacts of the above compounds on coastal waters and their biota, especially in cases of pollutants released during dredging a...
Article
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), introduced in June 2008, was adopted to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) in the EU's marine waters and to protect resources of socio-economic interest. The MSFD exerts to the marine area over which a Member State exercises jurisdictional rights in accordance with the United Nations Convention...
Article
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The deep sea (>200 m depth) encompasses >95% of the world’s ocean volume and represents the largest and least explored biome on Earth (<0.0001% of ocean surface), yet is increasingly under threat from multiple direct and indirect anthropogenic pressures. Our ability to preserve both benthic and pelagic deep-sea ecosystems depends upon effective eco...
Chapter
The ocean is a complex three-dimensional world covering approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface offering a huge potential of new discoveries in all the fields of science. The hope is that these discoveries, if adequately supported and implemented, could lead to the finding of sustainable solutions inspiring new technologies and growth strategies....
Article
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Hadal trench bottom (>6000 m below sea level) sediments harbor higher microbial cell abundance compared with adjacent abyssal plain sediments. This is supported by the accumulation of sedimentary organic matter (OM), facilitated by trench topography. However, the distribution of benthic microbes in different trench systems has not been well explore...
Article
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Oceanic trenches at hadal (>6,000 m) depths are hot spots of organic matter deposition and mineralization and can host abundant and active bacterial assemblages. However, the factors able to shape their biodiversity and functioning remain largely unexplored, especially in subsurface sediments. Here, we investigated the patterns and drivers of benth...