MedSens index



MedSens index, being based on open access data collected by volunteers, represents a bridge between marine citizen science and coastal management in the Mediterranean Sea, making possible and effective the integration of a well-established Community-Based environmental Monitoring into Ecosystem-Based Management policies.
MedSens index primarily provides a proxy of the mean sensitivity of the rocky bottom assemblages toward the natural and anthropic pressures listed by the European Union's Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD; 2008/56/EC). The higher the average sensitivity of the assemblages, the lower is the extent of the disturbances to which they are subjected, testifying good environmental conditions. More information are available in Turicchia et al. (2021).

How to cite the MedSens index


Turicchia E, Cerrano C, Ghetta M, Abbiati M, Ponti M (2021) MedSens index: The bridge between marine citizen science and coastal management. Ecological Indicators. 122: 107296 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.107296

MedSens calculator - a plugin for QGIS


A plugin for QGIS freely available in the QGIS plugin repository to facilitate the application of the MedSens index.

The plugin requires two input shapefiles, one containing a subset of the RCMed U-CEM data points with the abundances of the 25 assessed taxa, and one with the polygons representing the Territorial Units of interest. The updated data points shapefile (MedSens data) can be downloaded below.The polygon shapefile can be any file in which the enclosed areas are equal or larger than 0.08 km^2. If the layer contains more than one polygon, index calculation can be limited to selected features only. For instance, polygons actually containing data points can be selected using the QGIS processing tool 'Select by location'. Selected Time Frame can be defined as starting and ending dates.

The plugin output is a new polygon shapefile reporting in the attribute table the MedSens index calculated toward physical (MedSensphy), chemical (MedSenschem), biological (MedSensbio) and overall pressures (MedSenstot) together with the number of observers, observations and taxa available and the area (in km^2) of each polygon. Colour legends, according to the MedSens classification scheme, are also provided.

 

MedSens (ver 1.0)

Requires QGIS 3.0 or above

Dowload the last version direcly from the QGIS Python Plugins Repository


Developing version

Download
medsens-master.zip
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 219.2 KB
Download
QGIS legend styles
QGIS color legend styles to apply toward physical (MedSensPhy), chemical (MedSensChe), biological (MedSensBio) and overall pressures (MedSensTot)
Styles MedSens.zip
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 13.8 KB

MedSens data


MedSens data is a dataset including the abundance of selected Mediterranean marine species, collected by trained volunteers (EcoDivers, i.e. scuba-divers, freedivers and snorkelers) according to the Reef Check Mediterranean Underwater Coastal Environment Monitoring (RCMed U-CEM) protocol (Cerrano et al., 2017), and maintained by the non-profit association Reef Check Italia onlus.

 

This dataset is a subset of 25 selected species from the Reef Check Med - key Mediterranean marine species dataset, and it is specifically intended to calculate the MedSens index developed by Eva Turicchia, Carlo Cerrano, Matteo Ghetta, Marco Abbiati and Massimo Ponti. MedSens data is provided as ESRI shapefiles in WGS84 geographic coordinates (EPSG:4326).

 


How to cite the MedSens dataset


Please be sure to cite the proper version of the dataset you used. The first version (1.0.0) can be cited as:

 

Ponti M, Turicchia E, Cerrano C (2020) MedSens data (May 18, 2019). Dataset maintened by Reef Check Italia onlus, Zenodo repository, Version 1.0.0. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4000213.

 

You can access and cite all subsequent versions by using the DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4000212. This DOI represents all versions, and will always resolve to the latest one.

 

Data sharing policy

MedSens data are distributed under Creative Common Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), which allows for free sharing and adaptation, giving appropriate credit to the Reef Check Mediterranean network.



Useful GIS layers and MedSens testing results


Mediterranean Sea coastline

Derived from GSHHG (Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Geography Database; formerly Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Shoreline Database (GSHHS)), a high-resolution shoreline data set amalgamated from two data bases (the CIA world database WDBII, and the World Vector Shoreline database) in the public domain. External links:

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/pwessel/gshhg/

https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/shorelines/gshhs.html

Download
Mediterranean Sea coastline
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
GSHHS_f_L1_polyline Mediterranean Sea.zi
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 2.6 MB

Note that coastline shapefiles at higher resolution could be available from national geographic portals.

Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas with MedSens data

This polygonal shapefile includes the Mediterranean MPAs (sensu lato), without internal zoning, that contain MedSens Data (as far 18 May 2019). It is a subset of Mediterranean MPAs derived from the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA, last access October 2019).

 

UNEP-WCMC, IUCN (2019) Marine Protected Planet [On-line], [October, 2019]. Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN Available at: www.protectedplanet.net

Please, select only polygons containing MedSens data before run MedSens calculator plugin.

Download
Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
WDPA_Oct2019_marine-shapefile-polygons -
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 11.9 MB
Download
MedSens values in Mediterranean MPAs
Based on MedSens data 18 May 2019
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
MedSens WDPA_Oct2019_marine-shapefile-po
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 11.9 MB

Italian Marine Protected Areas (subdivided in managment zones)

This polygonal shapefile includes the Italian MPAs established by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea (as far the end of 2019), subdivided in managment zones (A: full protection; B: partial protection; C: buffer zones). It is derived from the establishing decrees of the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea: https://www.minambiente.it/pagina/aree-marine-istituite

Note, it is not an official shapefile and it is released only to the purpose of test and apply the MedSens index.

Download
Italian MPAs
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
MPA Italy management zones (wgs84)_check
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 2.5 MB
Download
MedSens values in Italian MPAs
Based on MedSens data 18 May 2019
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
MedSens MPA Italy.zip
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 1.8 MB

Portofino MPA (subdivided in monitoring zones)

This polygonal shapefile includes the boundary of the Portofino MPA, subdivided in monitoring and managment zones (A: full protection; B: partial protection; C: buffer zones). It is derived from the management plan of the marine protected area of Portofino http://www.portofinoamp.it/

Note, it is not an official shapefile and it is released only to the purpose of test and apply the MedSens index.

Please, select only polygons containing MedSens data before run MedSens calculator plugin.

Download
Portofino MPA monitoring zones
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
Portofino monitoring zones.zip
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 24.4 KB
Download
MedSens values in Portofino MPA monitoring zones
Based on MedSens data 18 May 2019
Shapefile in WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
MedSens Portofino monitoring zones.zip
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 22.0 KB


References


Cerrano C, Milanese M, Ponti M (2017) Diving for science - science for diving: Volunteer scuba divers support science and conservation in the Mediterranean Sea. Aquat Conserv 27:303–323 DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2663

 

Ponti M, Turicchia E, Cerrano C (2020) MedSens data (May 18, 2019). Dataset maintened by Reef Check Italia onlus, Zenodo repository, Version 1.0.0. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4000213

 

Turicchia E, Cerrano C, Ghetta M, Abbiati M, Ponti M (2021) MedSens index: The bridge between marine citizen science and coastal management. Ecological Indicators. 122: 107296 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.107296