Tommaso Alestra

Tommaso Alestra
University of Canterbury | UC · School of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

32
Publications
4,020
Reads
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484
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
374 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
Education
February 2010 - August 2014
University of Canterbury
Field of study
  • Marine Ecology
February 2007 - June 2009
Università di Pisa
Field of study
  • Marine Biology
October 2003 - February 2007
Università di Pisa
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Coastal eutrophication is known to promote the spread of fast-growing, ephemeral algae, with severe consequences for ecosystem health. Blooms of ephemeral algae within hardbottom communities are facilitated by shifts from canopy to turf domination in degraded environments. In contrast to this pattern, however, turfs of articulated coralline algae h...
Article
As human pressure in coastal areas increases, it is important to understand how key functional components of nearshore ecosystems respond to combinations of global climate changes and local non-climatic stressors. Stressors originating at local scales such as elevated nutrient concentrations and sediment loads are known to contribute to the regress...
Article
Full-text available
Bioadhesives produced by marine macroalgae represent a potential source of inspiration for the development of water-resistant adhesives. Assessing their adhesion strength, however, remains difficult owing to low volumes of adhesive material produced, low solubility and rapid curing time. These difficulties can be circumvented by testing the adhesio...
Article
As a result of anthropogenic habitat degradation worldwide, coastal ecosystems are increasingly dominated by low-lying, turf-forming species, which proliferate at the expense of complex biogenic habitats such as kelp and fucoid canopies. This results in dramatic alterations to the structure of the associated communities and large reductions in prim...
Article
Fragmentation and loss of extensive populations of habitat-forming macroalgae have occurred worldwide as a result of human-driven coastal habitat degradation. Contributing to such declines may be the influence of opportunistic algae, which quickly respond to stresses such as nutrient loading and warmer sea temperatures. The early life stages of fuc...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the resilience and recovery processes of coastal marine ecosystems is of increasing importance in the face of increasing disturbances and stressors. Large-scale, catastrophic events can re-set the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and potentially lead to different stable states. Such an event occurred in south-eastern New Zeala...
Article
Full-text available
Widespread mortality of intertidal biota was observed following the 7.8 Mw Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016. To understand drivers of change and recovery in nearshore ecosystems, we quantified the variation in relative sea-level changes caused by tectonic uplift and evaluated their relationships with ecological impacts with a view to establishi...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Ecologists traditionally study how contemporary local processes, such as biological interactions and physical stressors, affect the distribution and abundance of organisms. By comparison, biogeographers study the distribution of the same organisms, but focus on historic, larger-scale processes that can cause mass mortalities, such as earthquake...
Article
Full-text available
The November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake reshaped the coastal landscape causing significant impacts on the coastline and marine ecosystems. This article provides an overview of the coastal recovery process three and half years later based on results from an intensive monitoring programme across 130 km of coast.
Article
Large scale disturbances associated with anthropogenic activities or natural disasters can destroy primary habitat-forming species like corals, seagrasses and seaweeds. However, little research has documented if and on how large-scale disturbances affect secondary habitat formers, such as epiphytes and small animals that depend on biogenic habitats...
Article
• The Mw 7.8 earthquake that struck the north‐east coast of the South Island of New Zealand in November 2016 caused extensive upheaval, of up to 6 m, over 110 km of coastline. Intertidal habitats were greatly affected with extensive die‐off of algal communities, high mortalities of benthic invertebrates, and greatly reduced ecosystem functioning, s...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Surveys along 130 km of coastline in the first sixteen months following the Kaikōura earthquake showed significant damage to intertidal benthic communities at all sites. Subtidal communities were impacted only at sites with uplift greater than 2 m. Taonga species such as paua and bull kelp were still present at most sites and showing signs of post-...
Article
Full-text available
Detailed research has documented gradual changes to biological communities attributed to increases in global average temperatures. However, localized and abrupt temperature anomalies associated with heatwaves may cause more rapid biological changes. We analyzed temperature data from the South Island of New Zealand and investigated whether the hot s...
Article
Full-text available
Non-native species have invaded coastal systems worldwide, altering community structures and ecosystem functioning. One of the most widely distributed marine invaders is the kelp Undaria pinnatifida. In Australasia, Undaria is a large annual kelp that typically has a unimodal growth pattern characterized by high cover during late-winter and spring....
Chapter
Full-text available
The magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake of November 2016 impacted over 100 km of coastline, lifting rocky reef by up to 6 m. These events exposed vast areas of intertidal and subtidal rocky reef with dramatic effects to the habitat-forming kelp and fucoid species, and invertebrate species, including the highly valued paua. In this special issue we de...
Presentation
Full-text available
The Kaikoura earthquake caused extensive uplift of the seabed, ranging from 0.5m to over 6m, along more than 100km of coastline. We established a long-term monitoring program to quantify changes in the structure of intertidal communities across 23 sites affected by different degrees of uplift. Data collected within a year of the earthquake (combine...
Presentation
There is limited information about the impacts of introduced macrolgae on organisms at higher trophic levels as most studies focus on plant-plant interactions. We tested the effects of biogenic macrohabitats created by canopies of the introduced kelp Undaria pinnatifida on intertidal mussels’ vulnerability to predation (by fish and crabs) and recru...
Technical Report
The diversity, abundance and community composition were measured in September 2016 on an intertidal boulder shore close to a wastewater discharge point south of the Akaroa township. A 30m beach Impact site (centred at the waste water pipe I) and two 30m control sites were established north (C1) and south (C2) of the impact zone, 50 m apart. Ten ran...
Technical Report
This report details the diversity, abundance and community composition patterns of intertidal rocky reefs in central Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour. Twenty reefs were surveyed across the low, mid and high tidal zones using ten 0.25 m2 quadrats along 30 m transects. We analysed richness, diversity, abundance patterns of culturally and ecologically sig...
Presentation
The kelp Undaria pinnatifida is one of the world’s most invasive species, spreading across temperate seas worldwide. Many studies have tested the impacts of Undaria on the abundances of native species, but so far none have quantified its effects on species interactions across multiple trophic levels. We tested whether canopies of Undaria affect the...
Presentation
Epiphyte-host interactions are a great model system to study succession following disturbances. For example, many terrestrial studies document succession of lichens, bryophytes and vascular epiphytes on tree stands of different ages. Most of these studies are mensurative ‘space-for-time’ substitution experiments, where succession covaries with many...
Presentation
The decline of forests of canopy-forming macroalgae is one of the biggest threats to temperate coastal systems worldwide. This phenomenon is usually associated with anthropogenic disturbances at local scales such as increased nutrient and sediment loads, but there is uncertainty about the compound impacts of local stressors and altered global clima...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species can have significant impacts on the diversity and productivity of recipient ecological communities. The kelp Undaria pinnatifida (Harvey) Suringar is one of the world’s most successful invasive species but, although its purported impacts are strong, there is little empirical evidence that it displaces native species. Furthermore, a...
Presentation
As a result of anthropogenic habitat degradation, coastal ecosystems worldwide are increasingly dominated by low-lying turf-forming species, especially geniculate coralline algae. These are often described as alternative states to macroalgal beds and are linked to anthropogenic disturbance, such as increasing sedimentation. Little is known, however...
Presentation
A decline of extensive populations of fucoid macroalgae has been reported worldwide as a result of human-driven coastal habitat degradation. Contributing to such declines may be the influence of opportunistic algae which respond quickly to stresses such as nutrient loading and warmer sea temperatures, thereby outcompeting the early life stages of f...
Presentation
Coastal systems worldwide are exposed to considerable and increasing anthropogenic influences. Understanding the impact of human-related disturbance on resident assemblages is pivotal to preserving their ecological and economical value. In this study, a lab experiment tested how different combinations of stressors of local (sedimentation and nutrie...
Article
Compounded effects of climate change and local human activities are threatening marine biodiversity worldwide. At a regional scale (10s to 100s km), comparisons among areas characterized by the prevalence of different human activities provide an insight into the effects of anthropogenic disturbances at multiple levels of ecological organization (i....
Article
Predicting community susceptibility to invasion has become a priority for preserving biodiversity. We tested the hypothesis that the occurrence and abundance of the seaweed Caulerpa racemosa in the north-western (NW) Mediterranean would increase with increasing levels of human disturbance. Data from a survey encompassing areas subjected to differen...
Presentation
Intertidal habitats in southern New Zealand host diverse and highly structured algal communities, composed of a heterogeneous mosaic of species with different life histories and morpho-functional traits. On the basis of physical attributes and the way they use and compete for resources, we identified three functional groups: a basal layer of encrus...
Article
1. The stress-gradient hypothesis predicts an increase in the importance and intensity of positive species interactions towards extreme ends of gradients generated by either physical stress or consumer pressure. However, little attention has been devoted to assessing how the co-occurrence of different gradients of stress and variations in the abund...
Presentation
Extensive research in terrestrial and marine habitats indicates that ecosystem functioning is related to biodiversity. In intertidal habitats the nature and magnitude of individual species or functional group contribution to ecosystem processes varies considerably along tidal gradients. Intertidal algal assemblages in southern New Zealand usually p...

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Projects

Project (1)
Archived project
New project funded by the Brian Mason Trust (http://brianmasontrust.org/) about a curious marine paradox. There is a bit of everything in it: we will look at near-shore food webs, mussel, predator-free space and invasive species using a mix of traditional ecology and modern technology (3D modelling and printing). More details here: http://www.thomsenlab.com/research/biol-inv-details/