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Biological Invasions

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 3707–3721 | Cite as

Citizen-science for monitoring marine invasions and stimulating public engagement: a case project from the eastern Mediterranean

  • Ioannis GiovosEmail author
  • Periklis Kleitou
  • Dimitris Poursanidis
  • Ioannis Batjakas
  • Giacomo Bernardi
  • Fabio Crocetta
  • Nikolaos Doumpas
  • Stefanos Kalogirou
  • Thodoros E. Kampouris
  • Ioannis Keramidas
  • Joachim Langeneck
  • Mary Maximiadi
  • Eleni Mitsou
  • Vasileios-Orestis Stoilas
  • Francesco Tiralongo
  • Georgios Romanidis-Kyriakidis
  • Nicholas-Jason Xentidis
  • Argyro Zenetos
  • Stelios Katsanevakis
Original Paper

Abstract

The distribution of marine life has been alarmingly reshaped lately and the number of non-indigenous species and their impacts are rapidly escalating globally. Timely and accurate information about the occurrence of non-indigenous species are of major importance for the mitigation of the issue. However, still large gaps in knowledge about marine bioinvasion exist. Mediterranean Sea is among the most impacted ecoregions globally. In this work we present a comprehensive overview of the project “Is is Alien to you? Share it!!!” which monitors non-indigenous species in Greece and Cyprus with the help of citizen scientists. The goal of this work is to present this project as a case study in order to demonstrate how citizen science can substantially contribute to the monitoring of biological invasions. We compared the projects database with the databased of ELNAIS and EASIN, for discuss weaknesses and advantages and future steps for advancing the effort. In total 691 records of marine alien and cryptogenic species were collected in these 2 years from Greece and Cyprus, with the density of records reaching 20 observations per km2 in some locations. The project has contributed significantly in the assessment of descriptor D2 “Exotic Species” of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, with 3 new species for Greece. Future steps should focus on training citizens to report less reported taxa and raising the awareness of all relevant stakeholders.

Keywords

Participatory science Alien species Invasive species Marine bioinvasions Greece Cyprus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to warmly thank all citizen scientists that contributed to the project and all scientists that collaborated or involved in the project “Is it Alien to you? Share it”. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the handling editor for their constructive comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis Giovos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Periklis Kleitou
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dimitris Poursanidis
    • 4
  • Ioannis Batjakas
    • 5
  • Giacomo Bernardi
    • 6
  • Fabio Crocetta
    • 7
  • Nikolaos Doumpas
    • 1
  • Stefanos Kalogirou
    • 8
  • Thodoros E. Kampouris
    • 5
  • Ioannis Keramidas
    • 1
  • Joachim Langeneck
    • 9
  • Mary Maximiadi
    • 1
  • Eleni Mitsou
    • 1
  • Vasileios-Orestis Stoilas
    • 1
  • Francesco Tiralongo
    • 10
    • 11
  • Georgios Romanidis-Kyriakidis
    • 1
  • Nicholas-Jason Xentidis
    • 12
  • Argyro Zenetos
    • 12
  • Stelios Katsanevakis
    • 5
  1. 1.iSea, Environmental Organization for the Preservation of the Aquatic EcosystemsThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Marine and Environmental Research (MER) Lab Ltd.LimassolCyprus
  3. 3.School of Biological and Marine SciencesPlymouth UniversityPlymouthUK
  4. 4.Foundation for Research and Technology—Hellas (FORTH)Institute of Applied and Computational MathematicsHeraklionGreece
  5. 5.Department of Marine Sciences, School of the EnvironmentUniversity of the AegeanMytileneGreece
  6. 6.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA
  7. 7.Department of Integrative Marine EcologyStazione Zoologica Anton DohrnNaplesItaly
  8. 8.Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Hydrobiological Station of RhodesRhodesGreece
  9. 9.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità di PisaPisaItaly
  10. 10.Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly
  11. 11.Ente Fauna Marina MediterraneaAvolaItaly
  12. 12.Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland WatersHellenic Centre for Marine ResearchAnavyssosGreece

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