Marine Protected Areas
as tools for
management and conservation

Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Participant # 14: Università di Pisa (UPI) Print E-mail

Biologia Marina ed Ecologia, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’uomo e dell’ambiente, Università di Pisa (Italy)


Scientists:    Prof. Dr. Lisandro BENEDETTI-CECCHI: experimental design, MPAS, global change, impacts on biodiversity

                   Dr. Iacopo BERTOCCI: benthic ecology, MPAs, experimental design

                   Dr. Fabio BULLERI: benthic ecology, MPAs, experimental design

Elena MAGGI: benthic ecology, MPAs, experimental design

Dr. Stefano VASELLI: benthic ecology, MPAs, experimental design


Specific skills:    This is a relatively large Department at the University of Pisa, with a permanent staff of 32 scientists. The section of Marine Ecology/Biology has two full professors, one associate professor, three research scientists and four technicians. Research activities cover several areas of marine ecology and biology: (1) experimental analyses of patterns and processes on rocky shores; (2) analyses of impacts in coastal habitats; (3) ecology and restoration of seagrass beds; (4) ecology of soft bottom benthos; (5) taxonomy of benthic organisms; (6) management of fisheries. Most relevant to the present project is the activity undertaken by the research group on the ecology and management of rocky seashores. This team has a strong international reputation and world-wide collaborations with commitments in several areas of experimental ecology, including: (i) quantitative analyses of patterns in structure and diversity of assemblages at varying scales in space and time; (ii) quantification of intensity and variation of ecological processes such as recruitment, competition, consumer-resource interactions and the interplay between physical and biological processes; (iii) development of statistical methods for the optimisation of sampling designs to detect environmental impacts; (iv) effects of marine protected areas on coastal assemblages; (v) analysis and quantification of processes influencing recovery of populations and restoration of assemblages after disturbance. This research has been supported by several national and international grants, including the EU Mast III project Eurorock, the British Council and the National Geographic.


Role in the project: Participating in WPs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6; supplying data from case study #18


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

Micheli, F., Benedetti-Cecchi, L., Gambaccini, S., Bertocci, I., Borsini, C., Chato Osio, G. and Romano, F. (in press) Cascading human impacts, marine protected areas, and the structure of Mediterranean rocky-reef assemblages. Ecological Monographs (in press).

Benedetti-Cecchi, L. (2003) The importance of the variance around the mean effect-size of ecological processes. Ecology 84: 2335-2346.

Benedetti-Cecchi, L., Bertocci, I., Micheli, F., Maggi, E., Fosella, T., Vaselli, S. (2003). Implications of spatial heterogeneity for management of marine protected areas (MPAs): examples from assemblages of rocky coasts in the northwest Mediterranean. Marine Environmental Research 55: 429-458.

Benedetti-Cecchi, L. (2001) Beyond BACI: optimization of environmental sampling designs through monitoring and simulation. Ecological Applications 11: 783-799.

Benedetti-Cecchi, L. (2000) Variance in ecological consumer-resource interactions. Nature 407: 370-374.


EC projects: MARBEF, FP6 2002 GLOBAL 1 – P505446 (Network of Excellence), partner


European Union
Sixth Framework Programme