Marine Protected Areas
as tools for
management and conservation

Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Participant # 5 International Marine Centre (IMC) Print E-mail

International Marine Centre (IMC)


Scientists:    Dr. Giovanni DE FALCO: relationships between sediment dynamics and coastal ecosystems

Dr. Maura BAROLI: ecology of seagrass and macroalgae in marine and lagoonal environments.

Dr. Silvana FERRARI: fish behaviour and environmental physiology

Dr. Ivan GUALA: benthic ecology, human impacts on marine environment

Dr. Andrea de LUCIA: visual census, fish behaviour


Specific skills: The IMC is an international marine station located in Sardinia, Western Mediterranean. The IMC expertise is in molecular cloning and DNA sequencing, field and laboratory studies of fish behaviour and ecology, coastal zone management and coastal ecosystem functioning, oceanographic surveys, numerical and ecological modelling. Scientist of coastal ecosystem departments have been involved in European and National projects concerning the management of coastal environments and the ecology of Mediterranean seagrasses: mapping, primary production, ecological succession of seagrass Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa in marine coastal environments, relationships between sediment dynamics and seagrass meadows distribution and structure, evaluation of trace metal pollution temporal trends in coastal areas by analyses of sediment and Posidonia oceanica sheaths and rhizomes dated by lepidochronological procedures. At the IMC, research on fish biology focuses on fish energetics, aggregative behaviour and predator-prey interactions. Research activity in this area aims to identify the relationship between environmental factors and the behaviour of fish in terms of spontaneous activity, anti-predator responses, and schooling. IMC collaborates with the managers of the MPA Sinis Mal di Ventre in order to implement the management measures on the basis of scientific data. Particularly studies on benthic biocenosis mapping were carried out in order to provide data for the revision of the zonation and the regulation for pleasure boat anchoring in 2001. In its headquarter, the IMC hosts the department of CNR – IAMC Oristano Section with its own personnel.


Role in the project:
Participating in WPs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 (case studies #9 and 10): WP1-participating to supplying data on the effect of MPA on benthic habitats; collection of observational data on the effect of MPA on fish behaviour; WP2- Fisheries effects on MPAs on benthic target species;WP4-Evaluation of benthic ecological indicators; WP6-Development of management tools in relation to benthic habitat.

Sub-Contractors: This partner is going to subcontract “EVEMAR” (Etude et valorisation de l’environnement marin Consultant in marine ecology. Reference person: Gianluigi Cancemi) for support in the activity related to case study 9. E.V.E.Mar. will support the field operation related to experimental activities in the Marine Protected Area of Bonifacio (Corsica). E.V.E.Mar. has the equipment for field survey (boat, positioning system, etc.) and is fundamental for the logistic support to the researchers of partner 5 (IMC). G. Cancemi is an expert in marine ecology and has been involved in several studies related to the management of Bonifacio MPA. Following his experience G. Cancemi will be able to give information and data on the marine environment of the Bonifacio MPA. This service is necessary to implement the activity of EMPAFISH, particularly the WP 1, case study 10 (Bouche de Bonifacio MPA). The work of E.V.E.Mar. can not be realized directly by the partner 5 (IMC). It is advantageous to have a local support for logistic reasons, and to collect more detailed basic information on the local environment. This service is not a core element of the project because is limited to one case study.


Track record on MPAs and/or fisheries (max. 5 works): 

De Falco G, Molinaroli E, Baroli M, Bellacicco S. (2003) Grain size and compositional trends of sediments from Posidonia oceanica meadows to beach shore, Sardinia, Western Mediterranean. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 58 (2) 299-309

Cancemi G, De Falco G, Pergent G (2003) Effects of organic matter input from a fish farming facility on a Posidonia oceanica meadow. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science. 56: 961-968

Domenici, P., Ferrari, S., Batty, R.S. and Steffensen, J.F.  (2002). The effect of progressive hypoxia on the schooling behaviour of herring Clupea harengus. Proc. Royal Soc. B. 269: 2103-2111

Baroli M., Cristini A., Cossu A., De Falco G., Gazale V., Pergent G., Pergent-Martini C. (2001). Concentrations of trace metal (Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb) in Posidonia oceanica seagrass of Liscia bay, Sardinia (Italy). Faranda M., Guglielmo L., Spezie G (eds.) Structures and processes in the Mediterranean ecosystems. Springer Verlag, pp 95-99

De Falco G., Ferrari S., Cancemi G., Baroli M. (2000) – Relationships between sediment distribution and Posidonia oceanica seagrass. Geo marine letters 20:50-57


EC projects: MAMA, EVR1-2001-00006, IMC: coordinator

ETHOFISH, QLRT-2001-00799, IMC: co-ordinator

BIOCOMBE, EVK3-2001-00146, partner

MARBENA, EV1K3 -2001-00177, partner

MF-STEP, EVK3 -2001-00174, partner


European Union
Sixth Framework Programme