RESEARCH

Seagrass mapping

Sea grass mapping in different levels

The Common Fisheries Policy of EU requires mapping highly important habitats for fish production (e.g. underwater flowering meadows) in all EU Member States for the sustainable management of living aquatic resources and marine ecosystems. The Mediterranean region is under Regulation (1967/2006), and the fishing activities must be based on specific plans according to fishing zones which require knowledge on the distribution of underwater vegetation. In particular, the regions covered by marine angiosperm plants such as the endemic species of Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica (Posidonia), are areas of great ecological and economic interest for which mapping at the country level required a cost-effective and highly accurate methodologies.
We have been specialized in seagrass mapping by satellite images and aerial orthophoto maps in several spatial scales. MRSG has recently mapped the seagrass on country scale (Greece) using object-based analysis on Landsat-8 OLI images (spatial resolution 30 m). In specific areas, the fine spatial resolution of 2-4 m (i.e. Ikonos, WorldView-2) used for ground truthing and accuracy analysis. Drones used to map in extreme spatial scale of 0.03 m (3 cm). MRSG is able to inter-compare the different spatial scales and to calculate percentage coverage of seagrasses on a specific pixel. Also, the seagrass deep limit identification is under investigation using drop cameras, echo sounders and ROV in situ measurements.

Projects

- MARISCA, ΜΑRItime Spatial planning for the protection and Conservation of the biodiversity in the Aegean sea, (EEA FM 2009-2014).

- Underwater seagrass meadows detection, classification and mapping in satellite images, National Funding

Publications

- D. Makri & K. Topouzelis, 2016, Seagrass mapping in Southern Greece using Landsat-8 data, 'Eighth pan-Hellenic Ecology Conference', Helecos 2016, 20-23 October, 2016- Thessaloniki 

- K. Topouzelis, S. Charalampis Spondylidis, A. Papakonstantinou and N. Soulakellis, 2015, The use of Sentinel-2 imagery for seagrass mapping: Kalloni Gulf (Lesvos Island - Greece) case study,ʽFourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environmentʼ, RSCy2016, 4-8 April, 2016 – Cyprus

- Katsanevakis S. Vasilopoulou V. Topouzelis K. et al, MARISCA: Maritime Spatial Planning in the Aegean Sea on the conservation and protection of biodiversity (in Greek), 16th National Ichthyologists Conference "Aquatic ecosystems: sustainable management - economic growth", Kavala, Greece, 6-9 October, 2016

- M. Sini , K. Topouzelis, N. Koukourouvli et. al. Mapping of ecological features for the protection and conservation of marine biodiversity in the Aegean sea: the MARISKA project, 2016, 51st European Marine Biology Symposium, Rhodes, Greece, 26-30 September 2016

- Topouzelis, K., Drakopoulou, P., Parcharidis, I., Panagiotidis P., 2015, Mapping underwater meadows in the bay of Kalloni, Lesvos Island, using high spatial resolution remote sensing data, 11th Panhellenic Symposium of Oceanography and Fisheries, Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece, 13-17 May 2015. (in Greek)

- Topouzelis, K. and Kitsiou, D., 2014, The use of remote sensing and GIS for seagrass mapping (Posidonia oceanica), 7th National Congress of Ecology, Mytilene, Greece, 9-12 October 2014. (in Greek)