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- Eco-ethology: Understanding species preferences in both epigean and hypogean environments;
- Estimation of population size, trends, analysis on age and composition of population;
action with predators/parasites;
- Population genetics. ... [more] View project
The aim of this long-term field project is to determine the consequences of fish introductions on amphibian populations in several European countries. We look at varied patterns such as local occur
rence, abundance, and global distribution across time to determine diversity loss at the levels of communities, species and phenotypes (facultative paedomorphosis). Finally, we determine the value of conservation measures in showing resilience patterns of native species and morphotypes after fish extirpation. ... [more] View project
In this project, we aim at determining and explaining patterns of distribution and expression of the paedomorphic and metamorphic phenotypes. To this end, we combine a field approach in the main “h
ostpots” of paedomorphosis and we carry out laboratory experiments. Most aspects of the polyphenism are investigated: environmental determinants of metamorphosis, resource partitioning between syntopic alternative phenotypes (i.e. trophic polymorphism), sexual selection and compatibility between morphs, variation of developmental pathways across populations, morphological specificities of the two phenotypes, gene expression during metamorphosis, and gene flow across morphs and populations. We focus particularly on the two main drivers of the evolution of these processes: the presence of fish and drought. Therefore, our study also aims to highlight the high loss of intraspecific diversity and to document the patterns and causes of the extirpation and resilience of the paedomorphic phenotype. ... [more] View project Article Full-text available December 2018 · Scientific Reports
Accurate measures of species abundance are essential to identify conservation strategies. N-mixture models are increasingly used to estimate abundance on the basis of species counts. In this study we tested whether abundance estimates obtained using N-mixture models provide consistent results with more traditional approaches requiring capture (capture-mark recapture and removal sampling). We
... [Show full abstract] focused on endemic, threatened species of amphibians and reptiles in Italy, for which accurate abundance data are needed for conservation assessments: the Lanza's Alpine salamander Salamandra lanzai, the Ambrosi's cave salamander Hydromantes ambrosii and the Aeolian wall lizard Podarcis raffonei. In visual counts, detection probability was variable among species, ranging between 0.14 (Alpine salamanders) and 0.60 (cave salamanders). For all the species, abundance estimates obtained using N-mixture models showed limited differences with the ones obtained through capture-mark-recapture or removal sampling. The match was particularly accurate for cave salamanders in sites with limited abundance and for lizards, nevertheless non-incorporating heterogeneity of detection probability increased bias. N-mixture models provide reliable abundance estimates that are comparable with the ones of more traditional approaches, and offer additional advantages such as a smaller sampling effort and no need of manipulating individuals, which in turn reduces the risk of harming animals and spreading diseases. View full-text Last Updated: 25 Apr 2020
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