Coral Reefs face to global change

We study reef-building corals, and other calcifying marine invertebrate responses to local environmental stress and global change. Using multi scale approaches we aim at providing new insights into the mechanisms corals might use to acclimate under a changing environment. We believe that natural analogues to future conditions, such as CO2 vents, mangroves and similar extreme environments are pivotal to confirm responses and mechanisms observed in the lab.


Climate change is threatening marine life worldwide. Increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is driving ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA) with unknown consequences for marine life, and for environmental goods and services for humanity. Current understanding of the effects of OA on marine biodiversity is primarily based on short-term laboratory experiments on individual species. Although many of these experiments suggest dramatic impacts of OA, they potentially overestimate such effects because they are not ecologically realistic and too brief for organism acclimatisation to occur. Consequently, modern projections ignore organisms’ capacity for phenotypic buffering and their propensity for adaptation.

Team Of Riccardo Rodolfo Metalpa

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Born in Genoa, Italy, July 28th 1971. Italian nationality.
Researcher ID: 0000-0001-7054-1361

I have participated to 12 oceanographic cruises in the Med Sea, Gulf of California, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia, field missions in French Guadeloupe, French Polynesia, Red Sea, Spain and around 40 missions to study the effect of acidification using CO2 vents in the Mediterranean Sea (Ischia and Vulcano islands) and in the Gulf of California.

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