Stefano Mammola

Stefano Mammola
Italian National Research Council | CNR · Institute of Water Research IRSA

PhD
Ecology, Conservation science, Functional diversity, Subterranean biology, Scientometrics, Arachnology

About

200
Publications
111,626
Reads
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2,643
Citations
Citations since 2016
189 Research Items
2633 Citations
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Introduction
Researcher at the Italian National Research Council. My scientific activity primarily focuses on subterranean biology, ecology, conservation biology, and arachnology. Side lines of research include the study of the human dimension of wildlife (especially spiders) and scientometrics ("Science of science").
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - September 2022
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Fellow
Description
  • Research period abroad to conduct the project “Testing macroecological theory using simplified systems”, funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) individual fellowships (Grant no. 882221)
November 2019 - present
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher
March 2019 - October 2019
University of Helsinki
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • PostDoctoral inter-reg Fellowship: University of Torino, Italy & Finnish Museum of Natural History, Finland. Research Fellowship to help the recipient to reach the level of competence and visibility necessary to apply for MSCA and ERC proposals.
Education
January 2014 - February 2017
Università degli Studi di Torino
Field of study
  • PhD program in Biology and Applied Biotechnologies (Doctoral School of Sciences and Innovative Technologies)
November 2010 - April 2013
Università degli Studi di Torino
Field of study
  • Environmental Biology (curriculum: biodiversity conservation)
September 2007 - October 2010
Università degli Studi di Torino
Field of study
  • Natural Science

Publications

Publications (200)
Article
Full-text available
The use of semi‐isolated habitats such as oceanic islands, lakes and mountain summits as model systems has played a crucial role in the development of evolutionary and ecological theory. Soon after the discovery of life in caves, different pioneering authors similarly recognized the great potential of these peculiar habitats as biological model sys...
Article
Full-text available
The use of functional diversity analyses in ecology has grown exponentially over the past two decades, broadening our understanding of biological diversity and its change across space and time. Virtually all ecological sub‐disciplines recognize the critical value of looking at species and communities from a functional perspective, and this has led...
Article
Full-text available
Subterranean ecosystems are among the most widespread environments on Earth, yet we still have poor knowledge of their biodiversity. To raise awareness of subterranean ecosystems, the essential services they provide, and their unique conservation challenges, 2021 and 2022 were designated International Years of Caves and Karst. As these ecosystems h...
Article
Full-text available
In the internet era, the digital architecture that keeps us connected and informed may also amplify the spread of misinformation. This problem is gaining global attention, as evidence accumulates that misinformation may interfere with democratic processes and undermine collective responses to environmental and health crises. In an increasingly poll...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is rearranging the mosaic of biodiversity worldwide. These broad-scale species re-distributions affect the structure and composition of communities with a ripple effect on multiple biodiversity facets. Using European Odonata, we asked: i) how climate change will redefine taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity at European s...
Article
Full-text available
The touristic use of caves causes multiple environmental alterations to the subterranean ecosystem, having potential effects on all components, from the atmosphere to lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Setting a baseline on the current knowledge of the ecological status of world show caves is pivotal to implement monitoring and management pro...
Article
Full-text available
The widespread use of species traits in basic and applied ecology, conservation and biogeography has led to an exponential increase in functional diversity analyses, with > 10 000 papers published in 2010–2020, and > 1800 papers only in 2021. This interest is reflected in the development of a multitude of theoretical and methodological frameworks f...
Article
Wetlands, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, are increasingly subjected to area loss and degradation due to land-use and climate changes. These factors impact their unique biodiversity, including numerous invertebrates that depend on them. Here we investigated the current and future habitat suitability of the aquatic spiders Argyro...
Preprint
Full-text available
The conservation of biodiversity is a central imperative of the 21st century. Subterranean ecosystems deliver critical nature's contributions to people and harbour a broad diversity of poorly-understood specialized organisms that are of interest from both a conservation and evolutionary perspective. However, the subterranean biome is still systemat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Amidst a global biodiversity crisis, the word "biodiversity" has become indispensable for practical conservation, including as a normative term. Yet, biodiversity is often used as a buzzword in scientific literature. Resonant titles promoting to have studied "global biodiversity" may then be used to oversell research that is narrow-focused on a lim...
Article
The armed conflict in Ukraine is the first in Europe after decades of peace and is currently taking thousands of human lives while reshaping global geopolitical dynamics. On top of its humanitarian and economic consequences, we cannot ignore the widespread environmental impacts of an armed conflict at this scale.
Article
Full-text available
The genus Troglohyphantes Joseph, 1882 (Araneae, Linyphiidae) includes 131 species, mainly distributed across the main European mountain ranges. The Alps and the north-western Dinarides account for 66 species, most of them showing narrow or even point-like distributions. The majority of Troglohyphantes spiders dwell in subterranean habitats includi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Community assembly, how it changes in space and time, and how it will be affected by global threats, is one of the most pressing issues in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. To fully understand assembly rules and future community change, one has to delve into multiple interrelated factors, such as the history of environmental and habitat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The specialised subterranean fauna is often described as an iconic example of convergent evolution driven by environmental constraints, representing therefore an ideal model system for eco-evolutionary studies. During the colonization of subterranean environments, behavioural plasticity likely plays a fundamental role, as the quick behavioural resp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Subterranean ecosystems harbor a broad diversity of specialized organisms that are of interest from both a conservation and evolutionary perspective. These species are often short-range endemics, and some represent ancient faunas that disappeared from surface habitats. Thus, they account for a unique fraction of the global taxonomic, phylogenetic,...
Article
Author-level performance metrics do not account for collaboration and knowledge transfer between people, institutions, and countries. We propose the i-index and r-index, publication metrics that aim to incentivize the collaboration between researchers and research institutions across borders. These indices promote benefit-sharing among countries of...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas are a cornerstone for biodiversity conservation, and typically support more natural and undisturbed habitats compared to unprotected lands. The effect of protected areas on intra-specific ecological niche has been rarely investigated. Here, we explore potential differences in ecological niche properties of birds and mammals across p...
Article
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Planktonic invasive species cause adverse effects on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, these impacts are often underestimated because of unresolved taxonomic issues and limited biogeographic knowledge. Thus, it is pivotal to start a rigorous quantification of impacts undertaken by planktonic invasive species on global economies....
Preprint
Full-text available
Using subterranean fauna in the Canary Islands as a simplified natural laboratory, we explored how the interplay of eco-evolutionary processes shape taxonomic and functional diversity patterns in oceanic archipelagos through geological times. First, we demonstrated an overall convergence in the trait spaces of subterranean communities across island...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomic and aesthetic biases permeate biodiversity conservation. We used the LIFE program-the European Union's funding scheme for the environment-to explore the economic dimension of biases in species-and habitat-level conservation. Between 1992 and 2020, animal species received three times more funding than plants. Within plants, species at nort...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances (i.e., β-diversity) is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional variation in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distance...
Preprint
The genus Troglohyphantes Joseph, 1881 (Araneae, Linyphiidae) includes 131 species, mainly distributed across the main European mountain ranges. The Alps and the North-western Dinarides account for 66 species, most of them showing narrow or even point-like distributions. The majority of Troglohyphantes spiders dwell in subterranean habitats includi...
Article
Full-text available
Citations remain a prime, yet controversial, measure of academic performance. Ideally, how often a paper is cited should solely depend on the quality of the science reported therein. However, non-scientific factors, including structural elements (e.g., length of abstract, number of references) or attributes of authors (e.g., prestige and gender), m...
Article
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Proactive approaches are typically more cost-effective than reactive ones, and this is clearly the case for biodiversity conservation. Research and conservation actions for Old World vultures typically followed large population declines, particularly in Asia and Africa. These are clear examples of reactive intensive conservation management. We here...
Article
Full-text available
Species traits are an essential currency in ecology, evolution, biogeography, and conservation biology. However, trait databases are unavailable for most organisms, especially those living in difficult-to- access habitats such as caves and other subterranean ecosystems. We compiled an expert-curated trait database for subterranean spiders in Europe...
Article
Most people lack direct experience with wildlife and form their risk perception primarily on information provided by the media. The way the media frames news may substantially shape public risk perception, promoting or discouraging public tolerance towards wildlife. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, bats were suggested as the most plausible re...
Article
The integration of multiple lines of evidence in the delimitation of taxa is becoming the gold standard in modern taxonomy and systematics. However, multi-layered taxonomy is still incipient when it comes to species description within a mega-diverse group of organisms (e.g. arthropods), especially those inhabiting secluded environments such as cave...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding phenomena typical of complex systems is key for progress in ecology and conservation amidst escalating global environmental change. However, myriad definitions of complexity hamper conceptual advancements and synthesis. Ecological complexity may be better understood by following the strong theoretical basis of complexity science. We c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many ecological and evolutionary studies require to quantify the degree of adaptation of subterranean species to caves or other subterranean systems. In 1962, Kenneth A. Christiansen (1924-2017) coined the term "troglomorphism" to illustrate the process of subterranean adaptation and the suite of adaptive traits of organisms ("troglomorphic traits"...
Article
Full-text available
For humans, caves are dark, moist, and often dangerous places. However, caves are also home to many animals that live strange lives: blind beetles that eat bat poop and appreciate it; tiny spiders that spin webs to catch insects, also known as flying food; and white salamanders that swim in cave ponds without getting lost, at least not all the time...
Article
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The Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) Science Plan, released in 2015, addressed a need for a holistic system understanding and outlined the most urgent research needs for the rapidly changing Arctic-boreal region. Air quality in China, together with the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants, was also indicated as one of the most crucial topic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change is rearranging the mosaic of biodiversity on our planet. These broad-scale species re-distributions will affect the structure of communities across multiple biodiversity facets (taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity). The current challenges to understand such effects involve focusing on organisms other than vertebrates an...
Article
The climatic variability hypothesis predicts the evolution of species with wide thermal tolerance ranges in environments with variable temperatures, and the evolution of thermal specialists in thermally stable environments. In caves, the extent of spatial and temporal thermal variability experienced by taxa decreases with their degree of specializa...
Article
Full-text available
Mass media plays an important role in the construction and circulation of risk perception associated with animals. Widely feared groups such as spiders frequently end up in the spotlight of traditional and social media. We compiled an expert-curated global database on the online newspaper coverage of human-spider encounters over the past ten years...
Article
Brazil’s caves, home to diverse species and minerals, were stripped of protections by a recent presidential decree.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding and predicting the geographic distribution of taxa in hierarchical stream landscapes is a cornerstone of river ecology. A central issue is to tease apart the unique and shared effects of local and catchment predictors over species distributions. Here, we tested Hynes's influential hypothesis (1975, Baldi Memorial Lecture) that 'In eve...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the Internet era, the digital architecture that keeps us connected and informed may collaterally amplify the spread of misinformation and falsehood1,2. The magnitude of this problem is gaining global relevance3, as evidence accumulates that misinformation interferes with democratic processes and undermines collective responses to environmental a...
Preprint
Full-text available
There's a secret pleasure in naming new species. Besides traditional etymologies recalling the sampling locality, habitat, or morphology of the species, etymologies may be tributes to some meaningful person (for example, the species' collector, the author's husband or wife, or a celebrity), pop culture references, and even exercises of enigmatograp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Author-level metrics (number of publications, citations, h-index) remain prime yet controversial measures of academic performance. Among other issues, they do not account for collaboration and knowledge transfer between people, institutions and, ultimately, countries. They also do nothing to contradict the oblivion to which knowledge and data provi...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Species distribution models (SDMs) have emerged as essential tools in the equipment of many ecologists, useful to explore species distributions in space and time and answering an assortment of questions related to biogeography, climate change biology and conservation biology. Historically, most SDM research concentrated on well‐known organisms,...
Article
Full-text available
Global inland water biodiversity is under mounting stress facing future scenarios of climate change, biological invasions, pollution, diversion, damming of rivers, and increase of water abstractions. Apart from having isolated effects, all these stressors threats act synergistically and thus pose additional emerging threats to biodiversity and ecos...
Article
Full-text available
Bdelloids are commonly found in freshwaters or limno-terrestrial habitats. No formal attempt has yet been performed to define bdelloid niche and to identify whether species respond in a clear, consistent, and quantifiable fashion to environmental parameters. Therefore, we analysed the correlation between the occurrence of common Rotaria species in...
Preprint
Full-text available
The widespread use of species traits to infer community assembly mechanisms or to link species to ecosystem functions has led to an exponential increase in functional diversity analyses, with >10,000 papers published in 2010–2019, and >1,500 papers only in 2020. This interest is reflected in the development of a multitude of theoretical and methodo...
Conference Paper
Over the past decades, interest for the underground karst environments has grown remarkably, not only from the scientific viewpoint, but also from an economic perspective. The so-called “show caves” are caves open to the public for touristic purposes, managed by a governmental or commercial organization. The numbers of visitors (up to 500,000/year/...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring commonness and rarity is pivotal to ecology and conservation. Zeta diversity, the average number of species shared by multiple sets of assemblages, and Dark diversity, the number of species that could occur in an assemblage but are missing, have been recently proposed to capture two aspects of the commonness‐rarity spectrum. Despite a sha...
Article
Full-text available
Spiders are a highly diversified group of arthropods and play an important role in terrestrial ecosystems as ubiquitous predators, which makes them a suitable group to test a variety of eco-evolutionary hypotheses. For this purpose, knowledge of a diverse range of species traits is required. Until now, data on spider traits have been scattered acro...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation planning aimed at halting biodiversity loss has seldom focused on groundwater environments due to the lack of suitable management tools and data. Using harpacticoid crustaceans as a test case, we explore the potential of implementing an approach based on Conservation- Relevant Hotspots for practical conservation of groundwater biodiver...
Article
Full-text available
The 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (COP15) will be held in Kunming, China in October 2021. Historically, CBDs and other multilateral treaties have either alluded to or entirely overlooked the subterranean biome. A multilateral effort to robustly examine, monitor, and incorporate the subterranean biome into future conservation targ...