The urgent need of protecting biodiversity in our seas has to cope with the limited amount of financial and logistic resources that are made available by the society. It becomes therefore more and more crucial to single out which areas can play key roles to effectively protect, via ecological networking, entire regions for many species coexisting at the same time. Researchers of the Ecology group at the Politecnico di Milano (Paco Melià
, Marino Gatto
and Renato Casagrandi
) have developed and published on Nature Scientific Reports
a general method to identify "hotspots of connectivity", i.e. places which can best guarantee the reproduction and survival of entire ecological communities, through successful exchanges of individuals moving between them. When applied to the Adriatic sea, the method designed an ecosystem mapping where the
heel of Italy's boot proved to be very strategic for enhancing protection schemes at larger scale.