Angeletti Lorenzo

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  • Article
    Identifying priorities for the protection of deep Mediterranean Sea ecosystems through an integrated approach
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-07-22) Fanelli, Emanuela ; Bianchelli, Silvia ; Foglini, Federica ; Canals, Miquel ; Castellan, Giorgio ; Güell-Bujons, Queralt ; Galil, Bella S. ; Goren, Menachem ; Evans, Julian ; Fabri, Marie-Claire ; Vaz, Sandrine ; Ciuffardi, Tiziana ; Schembri, Patrick J. ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Taviani, Marco ; Danovaro, Roberto
    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 bioprospecting. To this, is added the pervasive and growing effects of human-induced perturbations of the climate system. International frameworks provide foundations for the protection of deep-sea ecosystems, but the lack of standardized criteria for the identification of areas deserving protection, insufficient legislative instruments and poor implementation hinder an efficient set up in practical terms. Here, we discuss the international legal frameworks and management measures in relation to the status of habitats and key species in the deep Mediterranean Basin. By comparing the results of a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and of expert evaluation (EE), we identify priority deep-sea areas for conservation and select five criteria for the designation of future protected areas in the deep Mediterranean Sea. Our results indicate that areas (1) with high ecological relevance (e.g., hosting endemic and locally endangered species and rare habitats),(2) ensuring shelf-slope connectivity (e.g., submarine canyons), and (3) subject to current and foreseeable intense anthropogenic impacts, should be prioritized for conservation. The results presented here provide an ecosystem-based conservation strategy for designating priority areas for protection in the deep Mediterranean Sea.
  • Article
    A unique and threatened deep water coral-bivalve biotope new to the Mediterranean Sea offshore the Naples megalopolis
    (Nature Research, 2019-03-04) Taviani, Marco ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Cardone, Frine ; Montagna, Paolo ; Danovaro, Roberto
    The Gulf of Naples is an example of the most beautiful and biodiverse marine regions of the Mediterranean Sea and of the most impacted areas in terms of industrial activities, large contaminated areas, resource exploitation, infrastructures at sea and maritime transportation. We conducted Remotely Operated Vehicle surveys in the Dohrn Canyon in the Tyrrhenian Sea at approximately 12 NM off Naples metropolitan area, and revealed a hotspot of deep-sea benthic biodiversity of sessile fauna at ca. 400 m depth. The hard bottoms are characterized by a high abundance of charismatic species, such as the habitat forming cold-water corals (CWC) Madrepora oculata, Lophelia pertusa, Desmophyllum dianthus in association with the large size bivalves Acesta excavata and Neopycnodonte zibrowii. This CWC-bivalve co-occurrence represents a novel biotope for the Mediterranean Sea, which coexists with the evidence of severe anthropogenic threats, such as illegal dumping and fishery malpractices that were visually documented during the survey. We recommend the adoption of specific protection measures to preserve these unique deep-sea assemblages showing the uncommon co-existence of such a number of deep-sea species in a single habitat.
  • Article
    Drawing the borders of the mesophotic zone of the Mediterranean Sea using satellite data
    (Nature Research, 2022-04-04) Castellan, Giorgio ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Montagna, Paolo ; Taviani, Marco
    The 30–150 m bathymetric range is commonly adopted in the literature to constrain the mesophotic zone. However, such depth interval varies depending on sunlight penetration, which is primarily a function of solar radiation incidence and water clarity. This is especially obvious in the Mediterranean Sea with its peculiar biophysical properties. Integrating information on light regime in the estimation of the bathymetric range of the mesophotic zone would provide a more robust definition, orienting conservation actions targeting its ecosystems. We present a first assessment of the spatial and vertical extension of the mesophotic zone in the Mediterranean Sea based upon light penetration, comparing our prediction with literature data. Our study also represents a baseline to monitor future variations in the bathymetric interval associated with the mesophotic zone in the Mediterranean Sea in relation to global changes.
  • Article
    Application of hyperspectral imaging to underwater habitat mapping, Southern Adriatic Sea
    (MDPI, 2019-05-16) Foglini, Federica ; Grande, Valentina ; Marchese, Fabio ; Bracchi, Valentina A. ; Prampolini, Mariacristina ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Castellan, Giorgio ; Chimienti, Giovanni ; Hansen, Ingrid M. ; Gudmundsen, Magne ; Meroni, Agostino N. ; Mercorella, Alessandra ; Vertino, Agostina ; Badalamenti, Fabio ; Corselli, Cesare ; Erdal, Ivar ; Martorelli, Eleonora ; Savini, Alessandra ; Taviani, Marco
    Hyperspectral imagers enable the collection of high-resolution spectral images exploitable for the supervised classification of habitats and objects of interest (OOI). Although this is a well-established technology for the study of subaerial environments, Ecotone AS has developed an underwater hyperspectral imager (UHI) system to explore the properties of the seafloor. The aim of the project is to evaluate the potential of this instrument for mapping and monitoring benthic habitats in shallow and deep-water environments. For the first time, we tested this system at two sites in the Southern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea): the cold-water coral (CWC) habitat in the Bari Canyon and the Coralligenous habitat off Brindisi. We created a spectral library for each site, considering the different substrates and the main OOI reaching, where possible, the lower taxonomic rank. We applied the spectral angle mapper (SAM) supervised classification to map the areal extent of the Coralligenous and to recognize the major CWC habitat-formers. Despite some technical problems, the first results demonstrate the suitability of the UHI camera for habitat mapping and seabed monitoring, through the achievement of quantifiable and repeatable classifications.
  • Article
    The Gela Basin pockmark field in the strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea) : chemosymbiotic faunal and carbonate signatures of postglacial to modern cold seepage
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2013-07-12) Taviani, Marco ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Ceregato, A. ; Foglini, F. ; Froglia, C. ; Trincardi, F.
    The geo-biological exploration of a pockmark field located at ca. 800 m below sea level in the Gela basin (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean) provided a relatively diverse chemosymbiotic community and methane-imprinted carbonates. To date, this is the first occurrence of such a type of specialised deep-water cold-seep communities recorded from this key region, before documented in the Mediterranean as rather disjunct findings in its eastern and westernmost basins. The thiotrophic chemosymbiotic organisms recovered from this area include empty tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp., loose and articulated shells of lucinids (Lucinoma kazani, Myrtea amorpha), vesicomyids (Isorropodon perplexum), and gastropods (Taranis moerchii). A callianassid decapod (Calliax sp.) was consistently found alive in large numbers in the pockmark mud. Their post-mortem calcified parts mixed with molluscs and subordinately miliolid foraminifers form a distinct type of skeletal assemblage. Carbonate concretions display δ13C values as low as −40‰ PDB suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the seeping fluids. Since none of the truly chemosymbiotic organisms was found alive, although their skeletal parts appear at times very fresh, some specimens have been AMS-14C dated to shed light on the historical evolution of this site. Lamellibrachiav and Lucinoma are two of the most significant chemosymbiotic taxa reported from various Mediterranean cold seep sites (Alboran Sea and Eastern basin). Specimens from station MEDCOR78 (pockmark #1, Lat. 36°46´10.18" N, Long. 14°01´31.59" E, 815 m below sea level) provided ages of 11736 ± 636 yr cal BP (Lamellibrachia sp.), and 9609.5 ± 153.5 yr cal BP (L. kazani). One shell of M. amorpha in core MEDCOR81 (pockmark #6, Lat 36°45´38.89" N, Long 14°00´07.58" E, 822 m below sea level) provided a sub-modern age of 484 ± 54 yr cal BP. These ages document that fluid seepage at this pockmark site has been episodically sustaining thiotrophic macrobenthic communities since the end of the Younger Dryas stadial up to sub-recent times.
  • Article
    Diversity and distribution of prokaryotes within a shallow-water pockmark field
    (Frontiers Media, 2016-06-17) Giovannelli, Donato ; d'Errico, Giuseppe ; Fiorentino, Federica ; Fattorini, Daniele ; Regoli, Francesco ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Bakran-Petricioli, Tatjana ; Vetriani, Costantino ; Yucel, Mustafa ; Taviani, Marco ; Manini, Elena
    Pockmarks are crater-like depression on the seafloor associated with hydrocarbon ascent through muddy sediments in continental shelves around the world. In this study, we examine the diversity and distribution of benthic microbial communities at shallow-water pockmarks adjacent to the Middle Adriatic Ridge. We integrate microbial diversity data with characterization of local hydrocarbons concentrations and sediment geochemistry. Our results suggest these pockmarks are enriched in sedimentary hydrocarbons, and host a microbial community dominated by Bacteria, even in deeper sediment layers. Pockmark sediments showed higher prokaryotic abundance and biomass than surrounding sediments, potentially due to the increased availability of organic matter and higher concentrations of hydrocarbons linked to pockmark activity. Prokaryotic diversity analyses showed that the microbial communities of these shallow-water pockmarks are unique, and comprised phylotypes associated with the cycling of sulfur and nitrate compounds, as well as numerous know hydrocarbon degraders. Altogether, this study suggests that shallow-water pockmark habitats enhance the diversity of the benthic prokaryotic biosphere by providing specialized environmental niches.
  • Article
    Offshore Neopycnodonte oyster reefs in the Mediterranean Sea
    (MDPI, 2020-03-05) Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Taviani, Marco
    Oysters are important ecosystem engineers best known to produce large bioconstructions at shallow depth, whilst offshore deep-subtidal oyster reefs are less widely known. Oyster reefs engineered by Neopycnodonte cochlear (family Gryphaeidae) occur at various sites in the Mediterranean Sea, between 40 and 130 m water depths. Remotely Operated Vehicle surveys provide new insights on this rather neglected reef types with respect to their shape, dimensions and associated biodiversity. We suggest that these little contemplated reefs should be taken in due consideration for protection.
  • Article
    Benthic habitat map of the southern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea) from object-based image analysis of multi-source acoustic backscatter data
    (MDPI, 2021-07-24) Prampolini, Mariacristina ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Castellan, Giorgio ; Grande, Valentina ; Le Bas, Tim ; Taviani, Marco ; Foglini, Federica
    A huge amount of seabed acoustic reflectivity data has been acquired from the east to the west side of the southern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea) in the last 18 years by CNR-ISMAR. These data have been used for geological, biological and habitat mapping purposes, but a single and consistent interpretation of them has never been carried out. Here, we aimed at coherently interpreting acoustic data images of the seafloor to produce a benthic habitat map of the southern Adriatic Sea showing the spatial distribution of substrates and biological communities within the basin. The methodology here applied consists of a semi-automated classification of acoustic reflectivity, bathymetry and bathymetric derivatives images through object-based image analysis (OBIA) performed by using the ArcGIS tool RSOBIA (Remote Sensing OBIA). This unsupervised image segmentation was carried out on each cruise dataset separately, then classified and validated through comparison with bottom samples, images, and prior knowledge of the study areas.
  • Preprint
    Fish otoliths in superficial sediments of the Mediterranean Sea
    ( 2016-12) Lin, Chien-Hsiang ; Taviani, Marco ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Girone, Angela ; Nolf, Dirk
    Otoliths represent a significant biogenic carbonate component in marine sediments that may provide valuable information for paleoenvironmental and biogeographic reconstructions. In spite of their importance, relatively little is still known about the taxonomic composition, abundance and early taphonomic characteristics of Recent otolith death-assemblages, which would add to their value to interpret situations in the geological record. Here we present data on the distribution of fish otoliths from bottom sediments collected in the central Mediterranean Sea ranging in depth from 51 to 3300 m. The preservation of otoliths ranges from fresh semi-translucent (white) specimens to dull-coloured (dark) ones, although whitish specimens are predominant across all the samples. This diversity in lustre and colour and at times texture reflects the degree of early taphonomic processes undergone by these aragonitic bodies post-mortem under submarine conditions, never being exposed to diagenetic processes on-land. In general, a correlation with depth is observed, with best preservation observed in otoliths sampled at depths < 500 m, while more degraded specimens occur deeper. In the upper depth range (< 500m), a substantial number of benthic and benthopelagic taxa is counted with respect to mesopelagic taxa, which prevail from 500 down to 3300 m. The taxonomic composition and relative abundance of each taxon of otolith death-assemblages at various depths conform well to the distribution of related Mediterranean modern fish communities. The occurrence of pre-modern subfossil taxa in the death-assemblages is evidenced at some bathyal sites by the overwhelming presence of many highly-degraded (worn, chalky, opaque and patinated) otoliths and locally extinct species. This is the case of Protomyctophum arcticum, a mesopelagic myctophid absent in the modern Mediterranean basin that represents an Atlantic Pleistocene ‘cold guest’ fish in the Pleistocene of this basin.
  • Article
    Visual imaging of benthic carbonate-mixed factories in the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area, Antarctica
    (MDPI, 2021-07-31) Castellan, Giorgio ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Canese, Simonepietro ; Mazzoli, Claudio ; Montagna, Paolo ; Schiaparelli, Stefano ; Taviani, Marco
    Marine biogenic skeletal production is the prevalent source of Ca-carbonate in today’s Antarctic seas. Most information, however, derives from the post-mortem legacy of calcifying organisms. Prior imagery and evaluation of Antarctic habitats hosting calcifying benthic organisms are poorly present in the literature, therefore, a Remotely Operated Vehicle survey was carried out in the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area during the 2013–2014 austral summer. Two video surveys of the seafloor were conducted along transects between 30 and 120 m (Adelie Cove) and 230 and 260 m (Terra Nova Bay “Canyon”), respectively. We quantified the relative abundance of calcifiers vs. non-calcifiers in the macro- and mega-epibenthos. Furthermore, we considered the typology of the carbonate polymorphs represented by the skeletonized organisms. The combined evidence from the two sites reveals the widespread existence of carbonate-mixed factories in the area, with an overwhelming abundance of both low-Mg and (especially) high-Mg calcite calcifiers. Echinoids, serpulids, bryozoans, pectinid bivalves and octocorals prove to be the most abundant animal producers in terms of abundance. The shallower Adelie Cove site also showed evidence of seabed coverage by coralline algae. Our results will help in refining paleoenvironmental analyses since many of the megabenthic calcifiers occur in the Quaternary record of Antarctica. We set a baseline to monitor the future response of these polar biota in a rapidly changing ocean.
  • Article
    The "Corsica Channel Cold-Water Coral Province" (Mediterranean Sea)
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-08-20) Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Castellan, Giorgio ; Montagna, Paolo ; Remia, Alessandro ; Taviani, Marco
    Over 25 mounds have been identified in the Corsica Channel (Mediterranean Sea) through multibeam bathymetric mapping at depth of 400–430 m, with dimensions ranging from 70 to 330 m, achieving maximum heights of 25 m. Two mounds have been explored in detail using a remotely operated vehicle, revealing thick coral growth with a predominance of the branching scleractinian Madrepora oculata as main frame builder and subordinate Desmophyllum pertusum. The solitary scleractinians Desmophyllum dianthus and Javania cailleti add to the biodiversity here, which accounts for at least 50 macro- and megabenthic species. In consideration of the remarkable surface (ca. 5.3 km2) covered by living corals, their density and healthy appearance, and discontinuity with other major cold-water coral (CWC) occurrences in the Mediterranean Sea, we propose that this area represents a distinct CWC province in a sector already known for the presence of pre-modern CWC mounds. Noticeably, well-developed contourite drift systems occur in the Corsica Channel, lending support to their strict spatial link with coral establishment at depth. The ecosystemic value of the new CWC province calls for proper conservation measures to ensure their present Good Environmental Status.
  • Article
    The yellow coral Dendrophyllia cornigera in a warming ocean
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-11-08) Castellan, Giorgio ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Taviani, Marco ; Montagna, Paolo
    Ocean warming is expected to impinge detrimentally on marine ecosystems worldwide up to impose extreme environmental conditions capable to potentially jeopardize the good ecological status of scleractinian coral reefs at shallow and bathyal depths. The integration of literature records with newly acquired remotely operated vehicle (ROV) data provides an overview of the geographic distribution of the temperate coral Dendrophyllia cornigera spanning the eastern Atlantic Ocean to the whole Mediterranean Sea. In addition, we extracted temperature values at each occurrence site to define the natural range of this coral, known to maintain its physiological processes at 16°C. Our results document a living temperature range between ∼7°C and 17°C, suggesting that the natural thermal tolerance of this eurybathic coral may represent an advantage for its survival in a progressively warming ocean.
  • Article
    Meiobenthos and nematode assemblages from different deep-sea habitats of the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea)
    (National Documentation Centre/National Hellenic Research Foundation, 2015-05-28) Sandulli, R. ; Miljutin, D. ; Angeletti, Lorenzo ; Taviani, Marco
    Much attention is currently devoted at upgrading our knowledge on biodiversity and functioning of deep water ecosystems. Information is constantly enriched by researchers, even from basins as the long-studied Mediterranean Sea. In such a perspective, we studied meiobenthic and nematode communities inhabiting muddy sediments from three different habitats at bathyal depths in the Strait of Sicily: a cold-water coral site (CS) in the Maltese Coral Province, a muddy bottom in the same area (MS), and a hydrocarbon imprinted pockmark site (PS) in the Gela Basin. The average meiofauna density at CS (1343 ind/10 cm2) and MS (1804 ind/10 cm2) is much higher than that reported in literature for similar habitats; it is also markedly more elevated than that recorded at PS (224 ind/10 cm2). Although nematodes of the three sites show different abundances, they share similar assemblage structure. Nematodes (avg. 86%) and copepods (avg. 9.3%) were the most abundant meiofaunal taxa at all sites followed by annelids, kinorhynchs and turbellarians. Nematodes were composed by 21 families and 46 genera, with Terschellingia, as most abundant genus (12.4%), followed by Microlaimus (11%), Daptonema (11%), Thalassomonhystera (10.8%), Acantholaimus (9.5%) and Sabatieria (8.7%). The genera Thalassomonhystera, Terschellingia, Microlaimus, Daptonema, Chromadorita, Sabatieria, and Anticoma display a dominance in at least one station. The taxonomic structure of meiofaunal communities of the studied sites is rather similar but differences in relative abundance are evident.