Maria Sini's research while affiliated with University of the Aegean and other places

Publications (97)

Article
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Climate change is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves (MHWs) and mass mortality events (MMEs) of marine organisms are one of their main ecological impacts. Here, we show that during the 2015–2019 period, the Mediterranean Sea has experienced exceptional thermal conditions resulting in the onset of five consecutive...
Article
Full-text available
Local, regional and global targets have been set to halt marine biodiversity loss. Europe has set its own policy targets to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of marine ecosystems by implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) across member states. We combined an extensive dataset across five Mediterranean ecoregions including...
Article
Full-text available
Angel sharks are among the most threatened species of sharks globally. Twenty-two species have been identified globally so far, with three species being present in the Mediterranean Sea: Squatina aculeata, Squatina oculata, and Squatina squatina. The Mediterranean populations of all three species have been assessed as Critically Endangered by the I...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Even before the introduction of the term "Marine Heat Wave" (MHW) and its statistical definition in global-scale studies, the scientific community had studied and recorded potentially harmful impacts of persistent conditions of warm surface layers and highly stratified water columns on the marine ecosystem. The main triggers for MHWs are yet not we...
Article
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• The expansion and intensification of marine uses have severe cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems and human well-being, unless they are properly managed with an ecosystem-based management approach. • A systematic conservation planning approach, using marxan with zones, was applied to generate alternative marine spatial plans for the Aegean Sea...
Technical Report
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The goal of this report is to identify Critical Areas for Angel Sharks in the Aegean Sea
Article
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The study of marine coastal food webs has a central role in the application of the integrated ecosystem approach for marine management. Changes in food webs caused by natural or anthropic drivers can lead to dramatic shifts in the overall structure and function of coastal marine ecosystems and deterioration of their services. The present review inv...
Article
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The Mediterranean endemic fan mussel Pinna nobilis is suffering an ongoing basin-scale mass mortality event (MME) since 2016. As most Mediterranean populations have collapsed, the species has been declared as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. In an effort to track the progress of the MME and provide updated informati...
Article
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• 1. The coralligenous habitat was studied at the large Mediterranean scale, by applying a standardized, non‐destructive photo‐sampling protocol, developed in the framework of the CIGESMED project. • 2. The results provided evidence to support the following statements: (a) the assemblage pattern is not homogeneously distributed across the four Medi...
Article
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The Mediterranean Sea is subject to multiple human pressures increasingly threatening its unique biodiversity. Spatially explicit information on the ecological status of marine ecosystems is therefore key to an effective maritime spatial planning and management, and to help the achievement of environmental targets. Here, we summarized scientific da...
Article
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Good datasets of geo-referenced records of alien species are a prerequisite for assessing the spatio-temporal dynamics of biological invasions, their invasive potential, and the magnitude of their impacts. However, with the exception of first records on a country level or wider regions, observations of species presence tend to remain unpublished, b...
Article
Full-text available
Good datasets of geo-referenced records of alien species are a prerequisite for assessing the spatio-temporal dynamics of biological invasions, their invasive potential, and the magnitude of their impacts. However, with the exception of first records on a country level or wider regions, observations of species presence tend to remain unpublished, b...
Article
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ALAS aims to fill knowledge gaps on the impacts of marine alien species in the Aegean Sea, and support marine managers and policy makers in prioritizing mitigation actions. The project will focus on under-studied alien-native interactions, priority and vulnerable habitats (such as shallow forests of canopy algae and underwater caves), and apply a m...
Article
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Anthropogenic climate change, and global warming in particular, has strong and increasing impacts on marine ecosystems (Poloczanska et al., 2013; Halpern et al., 2015; Smale et al., 2019). The Mediterranean Sea is considered a marine biodiversity hotspot contributing to more than 7% of world’s marine biodiversity including a high percentage of ende...
Poster
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A mass mortality outbreak has eradicated Pinna nobilis populations over most parts of the Mediterranean Sea within only two years. We investigated the population status of P. nobilis in Gera Gulf (Lesvos Island, NE Aegean Sea), where one of the largest populations recorded in Greece was known to thrive until recently. Underwater visual surveys reve...
Article
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Shallow rocky reef fish assemblages were studied in sites of low versus high fishing pressure (FP) across different parts of the Aegean Sea, in order to assess community structure at a large scale and investigate spatial variability in relation to FP, depth, and geographic location. A total of 15 pairs of high and low FP sites were selected (18 sit...
Article
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The cryptogenic parasite Haplosporidium pinnae has caused mass mortality of the protected endemic Mediterranean bivalve Pinna nobilis in the western Mediterranean, since the autumn of 2016. Herein, we confirm the spread of the parasite in the eastern Mediterranean, and report a mass mortality event, with > 93% average mortalities, in the coastal wa...
Article
Coralligenous formations are biogenic structures typical of the underwater Mediterranean seascape. Their intricate, multi-layered species assemblages are composed of perennial, long-lived organisms, particularly vulnerable to natural or human-induced disturbances. Despite their high ecological role and conservation value, few studies have addressed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Aegean Sea hosts a considerable number of marine caves, the great majority of which are located in the island-dominated South Aegean region. Herein, nine marine caves from different Aegean islands were investigated for the first time by means of SCUBA diving and non-destructive sampling (photoquadrats). A total of 70 taxa belonging to 8 taxonom...
Article
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Background Underwater visual surveys (UVSs) for monitoring fish communities are preferred over fishing surveys in certain habitats, such as rocky or coral reefs and seagrass beds and are the standard monitoring tool in many cases, especially in protected areas. However, despite their wide application there are potential biases, mainly due to imperf...
Article
Overgrazing can deplete macroalgal communities and lead to reduction of habitat complexity and species diversity. To quantify the effects of sea urchin and fish herbivory on the rocky reefs of the North Aegean Sea, a six-month grazer exclusion experiment was conducted at the southeastern part of Lesvos Island at three rocky reef sites at depths bet...
Article
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Biological invasions threaten biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, requiring substantial conservation and management efforts. To examine how the conservation planning literature addresses biological invasions and if planning in the marine environment could benefit from experiences in the freshwater and terrestrial systems,...
Article
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Sponges are among the less-studied benthic invertebrates as regards their extinction risk and conservation status. Herein, we evaluate the regional conservation status of sponges in the Aegean ecoregion (Eastern Mediterranean Sea), using the IUCN Red List criteria. We examined 20 sponge taxa falling into three categories: i) threatened species list...
Article
The efficacy of a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area (National Marine Park of Zakynthos – NMPZ, Ionian Sea, Greece) that implements a seasonal no-take zone as part of its management scheme was assessed using fish data collected in situ with underwater visual census. Sampling was conducted at two habitat types (Posidonia oceanica meadows and rocky...
Article
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The effective conservation of marine biodiversity through an integrated ecosystem-based management approach requires a sound knowledge of the spatial distribution of habitats and species. Although costly in terms of time and resources, acquiring such information is essential for the development of rigorous management plans and the meaningful priori...
Article
For the effective conservation of vulnerable marine populations, knowledge of their distributions and spatially-explicit management actions are essential. The use of physical features or coarse habitat types as surrogates of species distribution often does not provide an accurate enough, and hence useful, mapping of where species occur. This is fur...
Poster
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The Mediterranean coralligenous habitat is characterized by high structural complexity and spatial heterogeneity, thus supporting rich biodiversity and a variety of sessile assemblages. Different aspects of the habitat often develop within the same area under the influence of varying environmental conditions. Although this type of habitat has been...
Book
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The European Red List of Habitats provides an overview of the risk of collapse (degree of endangerment) of marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats in the European Union (EU28) and adjacent regions (EU28+), based on a consistent set of categories and criteria, and detailed data and expert knowledge from involved countries1. A total of 257 benthi...
Article
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Since 2010, a bottom-up initiative has been launched in Santorini Island (Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean) for the establishment of the first fully protected marine protected area in the Cyclades, aiming at improving fisheries and enhancing responsible recreational uses at sea. Following discussions with local small-scale fishermen and divers, tw...
Data
CIGESMED pour les plongeurs – Les sciences participatives pour CIGESMED
Data
CIGESMED για δύτες, πολίτες-επιστήμονες για το πρόγραμμα παρακολούθησης των κοραλλιγενών οικοτόπων
Data
Dalgıçlar için CIGESMED – CIGESMED için Vatandaş Bilimi
Article
Full-text available
Background Over the last decade, inventorying and monitoring of marine biodiversity has significantly benefited from the active engagement of volunteers. Although several Citizen Science projects concern tropical reef ecosystems worldwide, none of the existing initiatives has yet specifically focused on their Mediterranean equivalents. Mediterranea...
Data
CIGESMED pour les plongeurs – Les sciences participatives pour CIGESMED
Article
Full-text available
Background Over the last decade, inventorying and monitoring of marine biodiversity has significantly benefited from the active engagement of volunteers. Although several Citizen Science projects concern tropical reef ecosystems worldwide, none of the existing initiatives has yet specifically focused on their Mediterranean equivalents. Mediterranea...
Data
CIGESMED για δύτες, πολίτες-επιστήμονες για το πρόγραμμα παρακολούθησης των κοραλλιγενών οικοτόπων
Poster
Full-text available
According to the Aichi Biodiverity Target 11 set by the Convention on Biological Diversity, states are committed to protect 10% of marine coastal areas by 2020. In line with this, the ultimate goal of the MARISCA project is to propose a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for the conservation of all important and vulnerable habitats and specie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mediterranean coralline reefs, known as " coralligenous " , are bioherms built by calcifying rhodophytes on hard substrates in dim-light conditions. They are hotspots of biodiversity, harbouring rich assemblages and valuable biological resources. The assemblages they host are popular among SCUBA divers due to their complex structure, conspicuous bi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mediterranean coralline reefs, known as " coralligenous " , are bioherms built by calcifying rhodophytes on hard substrates in dim-light conditions. They are hotspots of biodiversity, harbouring rich assemblages and valuable biological resources. The assemblages they host are popular among SCUBA divers due to their complex structure, conspicuous bi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
What is " coralligenous " ? What is commonly called coralligenous is, actually, a complex seascape (i.e. a submerged landscape) developing in dim light conditions, which is present exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea. Coralligenous habitat is mainly created by calcified red algae, which are constructing reef-like structures for thousands of years...
Article
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This contribution forms part of a series of collective articles published regularly in Mediterranean Marine Science that report on new biodiversity records from the Mediterranean basin. The current article presents 51 geographically distinct records for 21 taxa belonging to 6 Phyla, extending from the western Mediterranean to the Levantine. The new...
Book
Full-text available
The European Red List of Habitats provides an overview of the risk of collapse (degree of endangerment) of marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats in the European Union (EU28) and adjacent regions (EU28+), based on a consistent set of categories and criteria, and detailed data and expert knowledge from involved countries. A total of 257 benthic...
Article
Full-text available
The yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cav...
Article
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Effective ecosystem-based management requires understanding ecosystem responses to multiple human threats, rather than focusing on single threats. To understand ecosystem responses to anthropogenic threats holistically, it is necessary to know how threats affect different components within ecosystems and ultimately alter ecosystem functioning. We u...