You are here: HomeStaffList of PersonnelCardini Ulisse

Integrative Marine Ecology Department

Genoa Marine Centre (GMC)
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn–National Institute of Marine Biology, Ecology and Biotechnology
Villa del Principe, Piazza del Principe 4, 16126 Genoa, Italy

Tel. +39 081 5833673
E-mail: ulisse.cardini(at)szn.it
Contatto Skype: ulisse.cardini
Web: www.marinesymbiomes.eu

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Symbioses with microorganisms play an essential role in the health and physiology of diverse marine organisms. However, environmental stressors such as climate change increasingly threaten the physiological function of the metaorganism (the assemblage of all participants in the symbiosis, forming an ecological unit). My research investigates the biogeochemistry of host-microbe interactions, as well as the physiological and ecological consequences of these dynamics. I am mainly interested in the carbon and nitrogen cycles and I focused so far on the physiology of two different model systems: the photosynthetic coral symbiosis, and the chemosynthetic lucinid clam symbiosis. A key goal of my work is to provide a mechanistic understanding of how host-microbe interactions lead to peculiar metabolisms of the metaorganism, and of how these contribute to nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning. I use a combination of underwater fieldwork for sample collection and incubation experiments with living organisms. Nutrient and oxygen measurements, acetylene reduction assays and stable isotope probing are used to quantify fluxes. I perform manipulation and mesocosms experiments to disentangle the role of environmental conditions in shaping the functioning of the metaorganism. By integrating across biological scales and maintaining an environmental context, my work will help determine the capacity of symbiotic marine organisms to shape their ecosystems and to withstand and adapt to a changing marine environment.

Selected Publications

Cardini U, Marín-Guirao L, Montilla LM, Marzocchi U, Chiavarini S, Rimauro J, Quero GM, Petersen JM, Procaccini G (2022) Nested interactions between chemosynthetic lucinid bivalves and seagrass promote ecosystem functioning in contaminated sediments. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13:918675

Berlinghof J, Peiffer F, Marzocchi U, Munari M, Quero GM, Dennis L, Wild C, Cardini U (2022) The role of epiphytes in seagrass productivity under ocean acidification. Scientific Reports, 12:6249

Malkin S & Cardini U (2021) Facilitative interactions on the rise: cable bacteria associate with diverse aquatic plants. New Phytologist, 232:1897-1900

Marzocchi U, Bonaglia S, Zaiko A, Quero GM, Vybernait-Lubiene I, Politi T, Samuiloviene A, Zilius M, Bartoli M, Cardini U (2020) Zebra mussel holobionts fix and recycle nitrogen in lagoon sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11:610269

Cardini U, Bartoli M, Lücker S, Mooshammer M, Polzin J, Lee RW, Micić V, Hofmann T, Weber M, Petersen JM (2019) Chemosymbiotic bivalves contribute to the nitrogen budget of seagrass ecosystems. The ISME Journal, doi:10.1038/s41396-019-0486-9

Cardini U, van Hoytema N, Bednarz VN, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2018) N2 fixation and primary productivity in a red sea Halophila stipulacea meadow exposed to seasonality. Limnology and Oceanography, 63:786-798

Petersen JM, Kemper A, Gruber-Vodicka H, Cardini U, van der Geest M, Kleiner M, Bulgheresi S, Mußmann M, Herbold C, Seah BKB, Antony CP, Liu D, Belitz A, Weber M (2016) Chemosynthetic symbionts of marine invertebrate animals are capable of nitrogen fixation. Nature Microbiology, 2: 16195

Cardini U, van Hoytema N, Bednarz V, Rix L, Foster RA, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2016) Microbial dinitrogen fixation in coral holobionts exposed to thermal stress and bleaching. Environmental Microbiology, 18: 2620-2633

Cardini U, Bednarz V, van Hoytema N, Rovere A, Naumann MS, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2016) Budget of primary production and dinitrogen fixation in a highly seasonal Red Sea coral reef. Ecosystems, 19: 771–785

Cardini U, Bednarz VN, Naumann MS, van Hoytema N, Rix L, Foster RA, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2015) Functional significance of dinitrogen fixation in sustaining coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282: 20152257

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