Using catenas for GIS-based mapping of NW Mediterranean littoral habitats

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Title: Using catenas for GIS-based mapping of NW Mediterranean littoral habitats
Authors: Mariani, Simone | Cefalì, Maria Elena | Terradas, Marc | Chappuis, Eglantine | Ballesteros, Enric
Research Group/s: Fitopatología
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada
Keywords: Cartography | Ecological distribution | Marine environment | Conservation | Catalonia
Knowledge Area: Botánica
Issue Date: 20-Jun-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 2014, 147: 56-67. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.05.030
Abstract: Studies aimed at describing habitats and mapping their distributions are pivotal to implementing management plans and to effectively guide conservation measures. We developed a novel approach of data collection and entry (CAT-LIT) to establish a detailed cartography of the littoral habitats found along the Catalan coast (Spain). Field data were recorded using coded, two-digit hierarchical lists (e.g. Aa, Ab, etc.) of horizons found at each point along the coast, called catenas. The horizons were either dominated by species (on the rocky bottoms) or sediment types (on the beaches) and corresponded to LPRE, EUNIS and CORINE habitats. Catenas were transferred into a database and calculations about the extent of bottom types, habitats, and catenas themselves along the coast were carried out with GIS tools. In addition, habitat link richness was calculated and represented using network analysis programs. The application of CAT-LIT to the Catalan coast showed that the habitats dominated by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia and the flattened barnacle Euraphia depressa and those dominated by the barnacle Chthamalus spp. were almost ubiquitous. Those dominated by the red alga Corallina elongata, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the red alga Rissoella verruculosa were also common. Because of the frequency of their connections, those habitats formed a huge hub of links in the networks. By using catenas, the habitats can be viewed using GIS based programs keeping the catena as the main informational and ecological unit. The catenas allow maximum compactness when vertically distributed habitats are to be shown on a 2D map. The complete cartography and dataset on the spatial distribution of the littoral habitats from Catalonia is valuable for coastal management and conservation to study changes in the habitat distribution and relate such changes to anthropogenic pressures. Furthermore, the CAT-LIT can be easily adapted to shores of other seas and oceans to obtain accurate cartographies of the spatially-reduced and highly vulnerable littoral habitats.
Sponsor: Financial support came from the projects “Cartografia dels Hàbitats Litorals a Catalunya” (Departament de Territori i Sosteniblitat and Institut Cartogràfic, Generalitat de Catalunya) and INTRAMURAL CSIC 201330E065. This study is also a contribution of GRACCIE (C5D2007-00067) and CoCoNET (FP7 Grant Agreement: 287844) projects.
ISSN: 0272-7714 (Print) | 1096-0015 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.05.030
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:Research funded by the EU
INV - Fitopatología - Artículos de Revistas

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