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A catalogue of marine biodiversity indicators

Teixeira, Heliana; Berg, Torsten; Uusitalo, Laura; Fürhaupter, Karin; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Mazik, Krysia; Lynam, Christopher P.; Neville, Suzanna; Rodriguez, J. German; Papadopoulou, Nadia; Moncheva, Snejana; Churilova, Tanya; Kryvenko, Olga; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Zaiko, Anastasija; Veríssimo, Helena; Pantazi, Maria; Carvalho, Susana; Patrício, Joana; Uyarra, Maria C.; Borja, Àngel


Heliana Teixeira

Torsten Berg

Laura Uusitalo

Karin Fürhaupter

Anna-Stiina Heiskanen

Christopher P. Lynam

Suzanna Neville

J. German Rodriguez

Nadia Papadopoulou

Snejana Moncheva

Tanya Churilova

Olga Kryvenko

Dorte Krause-Jensen

Anastasija Zaiko

Helena Veríssimo

Maria Pantazi

Susana Carvalho

Joana Patrício

Maria C. Uyarra

Àngel Borja


© 2016 Teixeira, Berg, Uusitalo, Fürhaupter, Heiskanen, Mazik, Lynam, Neville, Rodriguez, Papadopoulou, Moncheva, Churilova, Kryvenko, Krause-Jensen, Zaiko, Veríssimo, Pantazi, Carvalho, Patrício, Uyarra and Borja. A Catalogue of Marine Biodiversity Indicators was developed with the aim of providing the basis for assessing the environmental status of the marine ecosystems. Useful for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), this catalogue allows the navigation of a database of indicators mostly related to biological diversity, non-indigenous species, food webs, and seafloor integrity. Over 600 indicators were compiled, which were developed and used in the framework of different initiatives (e.g., EU policies, research projects) and in national and international contexts (e.g., Regional Seas Conventions, and assessments in non-European seas). The catalogue reflects the current scientific capability to address environmental assessment needs by providing a broad coverage of the most relevant indicators for marine biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. The available indicators are reviewed according to their typology, data requirements, development status, geographical coverage, relevance to habitats or biodiversity components, and related human pressures. Through this comprehensive overview, we discuss the potential of the current set of indicators in a wide range of contexts, from large-scale to local environmental programs, and we also address shortcomings in light of current needs. Developed by the DEVOTES Project, the catalogue is freely available through the DEVOTool software application, which provides browsing and query options for the associated metadata. The tool allows extraction of ranked indicator lists best fulfilling selected criteria, enabling users to search for suitable indicators to address a particular biodiversity component, ecosystem feature, habitat, or pressure in a marine area of interest. This tool is useful for EU Member States, Regional Sea Conventions, the European Commission, non-governmental organizations, managers, scientists, and any person interested in marine environmental assessment. It allows users to build, complement or adjust monitoring programs and has the potential to improve comparability and foster transfer of knowledge across marine regions.


Teixeira, H., Berg, T., Uusitalo, L., Fürhaupter, K., Heiskanen, A., Mazik, K., …Borja, À. (2016). A catalogue of marine biodiversity indicators. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3(NOV), Article 207.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 4, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 4, 2016
Publication Date Nov 4, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 12, 2018
Journal Frontiers in Marine Science
Electronic ISSN 2296-7745
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue NOV
Article Number 207
Keywords Assessment; Non-indigenous species; Food webs; Seafloor integrity; Pressures; Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Public URL
Publisher URL


Article (1.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2016 Teixeira, Berg, Uusitalo, Fürhaupter, Heiskanen, Mazik, Lynam, Neville, Rodriguez, Papadopoulou, Moncheva, Churilova, Kryvenko, Krause-Jensen, Zaiko, Veríssimo, Pantazi, Carvalho, Patrício, Uyarra and Borja. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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