ETD system

Electronic theses and dissertations repository


Tesi etd-10122018-132017

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Multidisciplinary approaches for the study of species and habitat types in Habitats Directive: two case studies with management implications in Tuscany, Italy
Settore scientifico disciplinare
Corso di studi
tutor Prof. Petroni, Giulio
tutor Prof. Boschian, Giovanni
Parole chiave
  • Austropotamobius
  • crayfish
  • DNA barcoding
  • wild bees
  • dune system
  • Habitats Directive
  • biodiversity management
Data inizio appello
Data di rilascio
Riassunto analitico
The research/management gap is a troubling issue for conservation and administration of bio-naturalistic resources, especially in relation to European environmental legislation. I dealt with two case studies, namely the practice of “dune apiculture” within the Migliarino – San Rossore – Massaciuccoli Regional Park and the analysis of the torrential fauna in Lunigiana (Tuscany, Italy), that represent an example of such research/management gap in the application of Habitats Directive. In my first case study, apiaries have been installed in the mid-1990s within Natura 2000 sites hosting several Habitats Directive habitat types; nevertheless, the impact of this practice on the dune system has not been previously investigated with an ecosystemic approach. In my second case study, data concerning the occurrence of torrential Habitats Directive species in my study area were almost lacking; nevertheless, most of Lunigiana hilly streams have already been altered or are threatened by the construction of mini-hydroelectric plants.<br>Case study 1: a multidisciplinary ACI design was applied with the selection of overall 5 impacted sites and 4 control sites at growing distances from the apiaries, to check for the potential impacts of apiculture on both protected dune vegetation and wild pollinators. No effect of the honeybees presence was retrieved on the vegetation cover, while fruit set of one target species was higher in sites closer to the apiaries. Insect communities did not show variations in the abundancy of families nor in species composition in relation to the distance from the apiaries. Although the lack of data prior to the installation of the apiaries do not allow to completely exclude the possibility of an impact of the honeybees, these first findings seem supporting the sustainability of the management practice within this protected area.<br>Case study 2: Austropotamobius italicus (Faxon 1984) is a keystone species for freshwater environments, included in the Habitats Directive. Two crayfish populations were detected in two different streams, confirming that the species occurs in the study area, but is not common. Morphometric and genetic analyses identified both populations as A. italicus carinthiacus. DNA diversity was very low within each stream but high between the two populations. Ectosymbionts were genetically identified as Branchiobdella italica Canegallo 1929. The studied streams could be considered as “natural Ark sites” for the species, thus deserving further studies and ad hoc conservation actions.