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Di Franco AntonioResearcher
Integrative Marine Ecology Department

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo (complesso Roosevelt)
90142 Palermo - Italia

Tel.: +39 3284554554
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contatto Skype: difry24

Research Interests

My fields of scientific interest are primarily centred on 3 interrelated axes: Investigate dynamics of socio-ecological system (SES) and common pool resources (CPR), with a focus on marine protected areas (MPAs), small scale fisheries (SSF) and fishing resources as a SES integrating both natural and human components; Assessing the impact of MPAs and human activities on natural populations and assemblages; Estimate patterns of connectivity and dispersal and their effect on fish populations to design effective networks of marine protected areas (MPAs).
More specific fields of interest are represented by: analysing the effects of MPAs on small scale fisheries and investigating the optimal MPAs configuration to maximize benefits to fisheries; quantify the reserve effect of MPAs on fish assemblages; capture human dimension of the socio-ecosystem composed by MPAs and small scale fisheries; assessing population connectivity of marine fish species (dispersal and movement patterns from eggs and larvae to adult stages) to evaluate fish population/stock dynamics and design effective networks of MPAs; investigating early life history traits of fish (e.g. spawning dates, pelagic larval duration) and their variability in space and time, assessing effects of recreational activities (e.g. scuba diving) on biological assemblages (both fish and benthic).
To develop the above mentioned research activities I combined three different approaches, field work, laboratory experiments and meta-analytical procedures.

Selected Publications 

Bennett NJ, Di Franco A, Calò A, Nethery E., Niccolini F., Milazzo M., Guidetti P., 2019. Local support for conservation is associated with perceptions of good governance, social impacts, and ecological effectiveness. Conservation Letters 12;e12640. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12640

Di Franco A, Calo` A, Sdiri K, Cattano C, Milazzo M, Guidetti P., 2019. Ocean acidification affects somatic and otolith growth relationship in fish: evidence from an in situ study. Biology Letters, 15: 20180662. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0662

Giakoumi S., Pey A., Di Franco A., Francour P., Kizilkaya Z., Arda Y., Raybaud V., Guidetti P., 2019. Exploring the relationships between Marine Protected Areas and invasive fish in the world’s most invaded sea. Ecological Applications, 29(1): e018

Di Franco A., Plass-Johnson J., Di Lorenzo M., Claudet J., Gaines S.D., García-Charton J.A., Giakoumi S., Grorud-Colvert K., Werner Hackradt C., Micheli F., Guidetti P., 2018. Linking home ranges to protected area size: the case study of the Mediterranean Sea. Biological Conservation 221: 175–181. Doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.012

Giakoumi S., Scianna C., Plass-Johnson J., Micheli F., Grorud-Colvert K., Thiriet P., Claudet J., Di Carlo G., Di Franco A., Gaines S.D., García-Charton J.A., Lubchenco J., Reimer J., Sala E., Guidetti P., 2017. Ecological effects of full and partial protection in the crowded Mediterranean Sea: a regional meta-analysis. Scientific Reports 7, 8940; doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08850-w

Di Franco A.,Thiriet P., Di Carlo G., Dimitriadis C., Francour P., Gutiérrez N.L., Jeudy de Grissac A., Koutsoubas D., Milazzo M., del Mar Otero M., Piante C., Plass-Johnson J., Sainz-Trapaga S., Santarossa L., Tudela S., Guidetti P., 2016. Five key attributes can increase marine protected areas performance for small-scale fisheries management. Scientific Reports 6, 38135; doi: 10.1038/srep38135

Di Franco A., Calò A., Pennetta A., De Benedetto G., Planes S., Guidetti P., 2015. Dispersal of larval and juvenile seabream: Implications for Mediterranean marine protected areas. Biological Conservation 192: 361–368. Doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.10.015

Guidetti P., Baiata P, Ballesteros E., Di Franco A., Hereu B., Macpherson E., Micheli F., Pais A., Panzalis P., Rosenberg A.A., Zabala M., Sala E., 2014. Large-scale assessment of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas effects on fish assemblages. PLoS ONE 9(4): e91841. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091841

Di Franco A., Bulleri F., Pennetta A., De Benedetto G., Clarke K.R., Guidetti P., 2014. Within-otolith variability in chemical fingerprints: implications for sampling designs and possible environmental interpretation. PLoS ONE 9(7): e101701.. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101701

Di Franco A., Qian K., Calo’ A., Di Lorenzo M., Planes S., Guidetti P., 2013. Assessing patterns of variability in early life traits: the case study of a Mediterranean coastal fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 476: 227-235.

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