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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Biogeographia – The Journal of Integrative Biogeography is the scientific journal of the Italian Biogeography Society (SIB, [in Italian only]). Since 1970, it publishes original research and reviews on any topic in biogeography.


New records of Plagyrona Gittenberger, 1977 (Gastropoda: Eupulmonata: Valloniidae) from Europe and problems about specific determination

The genus Plagyrona Gittenberger, 1977, includes only two small species of terrestrial snail: Plagyrona angusta Holyoak and Holyoak, 2012, and Plagyrona placida (Shuttleworth, 1852). While P. angusta is known only from Portugal, P. placida has a vast but fragmented distribution: it is known from some of the Macaronesian islands (Madeira and the Canary Archipelago) and some European countries: Portugal, France (in Corsica only), Italy (including Sardinia and the Tuscan Archipelago), Albania, Greece (in the Ionian Islands only) and North Africa (Algeria). New research has led to redefine the distribution range of P. angusta, identifying new populations in Spain (Balearic Islands), continental France (Var department), southern Italy (Campania), Sardinia and Greece (Kerkyra Island) and to discover new sites of P. placida on Pantelleria island and of Plagyrona spp. in Zannone island and southern Italy. The specific determination of these and others populations by examination of recent literature from Sardinia, Campania and Calabria, was carried out on a morphometric basis, but, for some populations, the variability of the diagnostic characters and the limited number of available specimens, do not allow a precise assignment. On the other hand, the existence of two distinct species is not evident at all, at least in the Mediterranean countries.


Records of Ethiopian and Eritrean mammals in Italian literature and museums, with some taxonomic notes

Published and unpublished data on Ethiopian and Eritrean mammals, mainly deriving from Italian sources, including some natural history museums, in the present contribution are intended as an amendment to the landmark Catalogue of Ethiopian and Eritrean mammals produced by Derek Yalden and collaborators between 1974 and 1996. Additionally, a few taxonomic notes including the proposal of two new subspecific names are included. The paper highlights the importance of historical data for a number of scientific applications, such as taxonomy, conservation biology, and restoration ecology. Two ‘cryptozoological’ records are also included.


The geographic distribution of Protura (Arthropoda: Hexapoda): a review

Protura is a poorly known class of Hexapoda represented by more than 800 species belonging to 77 genera worldwide. They are tiny soil organisms with low dispersal ability, mainly attributable to water and human-mediated transfer. The analysis of biogeography of Protura is hindered by the lack of knowledge on their natural history, systematics and distribution. In order to provide a starting point for future more detailed investigations, we reviewed the available literature on their geographic distribution, making a distinction between continental and insular areas. A general overview based on Wallace’s biogeographic regionalization is outlined, highlighting a maximum of known richness and endemism at the genus level in the Palearctic region, and particularly within its eastern part. Some detailed examples of disjunct distribution and their interpretation based on vicariance or dispersal events are given.

Degradation of mangrove forests and coral reefs in the coastal area of the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia


This study aimed to monitor the degradation of ecosystem biodiversity in one of the most diverse areas in Saudi Arabia. The coastal area of southwestern Saudi Arabia has a rich diversity of flora and fauna, particularly in mangrove and coral reef ecosystems. The total area covered with mangroves was approximately 40 km2 at the end of the 1900s but decreased to approximately 19 km2 by 2019. Coral reef decline was not as extreme, with a total decrease of approximately 330 km2 during the study period. Total reef area declined from approximately 2533.7 km2 in 1990 to approximately 2202 km2 in 2019. Population growth and urban sprawl, as well as overfishing, are among the main factors causing the degradation of both mangrove and coral reefs in this region.


Morphology, ecology and biogeography of Myrmecina sicula André, 1882, rediscovered after 140 years (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

The ant genus Myrmecina, whose diversity is mostly concentrated in SE-Asia and Oceania, counts four W-Palearctic species. The extremely euryecious and well-studied Myrmecina graminicola occurs from Iberia to the Caucasus and from the Maghreb to Scandinavia, while three little-known species (M. atlantis, M. melonii and M. sicula) coexist with M. graminicola in their narrow Maghrebian, Sardinian and Sicilian ranges, respectively. Myrmecina sicula has been described about 140 years ago from a single site and two specimens only. Their unique morphology suggested the validity of this taxon ever since, but no additional specimens were found in the following century. We present the results of decades of sampling efforts across Sicily, resulting in the collection of M. graminicola from 70 sites and M. sicula from 13 sites. We confirm M. sicula unique morphological identity and report on the marked distributional and ecological differences between the two species. Myrmecina graminicola is widespread and inhabits diverse, mainly forested habitats from lowland to high mountain sites, while M. sicula was found in a very narrow region of old carbonate platform between NW-Sicily and the Egadi Islands, mostly in sparsely vegetated sites at mid to low-altitude. Reviewing their common morphological and biogeographic traits, we propose to consider M. atlantis, M. melonii and M. sicula as a distinct M. sicula complex, whose identity and history deserves further investigation through molecular analyses.


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Data Papers

A data set on the distribution of Rotifera in Antarctica

We present a data set on Antarctic biodiversity for the phylum Rotifera, making it publicly available through the Antarctic Biodiversity Information facility. We provide taxonomic information, geographic distribution, location, and habitat for each record. The data set gathers all the published literature about rotifers found and identified across the Continental, Maritime, and Subantarctic biogeographic regions of Antarctica. A total of 1455 records of rotifers in Antarctica found from 1907 to 2018 is reported, with information on taxonomic hierarchies, updated nomenclature, geographic information, geographic coordinates, and type of habitat. The aim is to provide a georeferenced data set on Antarctic rotifers as a baseline for further studies, to improve our knowledge on what has been considered one of the most diverse and successful groups of animals living in Antarctica.


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Thirty years of invasion: the distribution of the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii in Italy

The presence of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii in Italy is documented since 1989, but no comprehensive data are available on its spread through time at the national scale. New confirmed records for Procambarus clarkii are continuously arising in recent years across the country. By reviewing the scientific and grey literature, we obtained an up-to-date map of the species invasion in Italy. This information can help to monitor and understand the spread of this highly invasive crayfish and to implement more effective management measures.


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A ten-year geographic data set on the occurrence and abundance of macroinvertebrates in the River Po basin (Italy)

Rivers serve many societal functions and are one of the most intensively human influenced ecosystems worldwide, and, due to their importance, are included under the monitoring programs of the Water Framework Directive across Europe. Macroinvertebrates play an important role when monitoring running waters for the assessment of their environmental quality due to their reliability as bioindicators and utility in long-term studies. Macroinvertebrates do not constitute a systematic unit but they are formed by a set of different taxa, grouped according to taxonomic ranks, size and habitat preferences. They represent the base of the aquatic food chain, serving as a food source for amphibians, birds, reptiles, fish and humans, and contributing in the organic matter processing. Despite the large amount of data collected on Italian river macroinvertebrates and the increased interest in the study of this group, only few data are available for research scientist and managers. In this paper, we collected and homogenized knowledge on the presence, distribution and abundances of macroinvertebrates taxa inhabiting the River Po catchment (Northern Italy) in the last decade. The data set includes 130,727 records collected between 2007 and 2018 including 143 taxa of macroinvertebrates, mostly identified at family rank level. Moreover, the data set provides information on the geographic distribution of these families and their abundance by sub-catchment, altitude, meso- and micro-habitat.


  • 1 supplemental ZIP