Developing a scuba trail vulnerability index (STVI): a case study from a Mediterranean MPA

Marco Milazzo, Renato Chemello, Antonio Di Franco, Agnese Marchini

Risultato della ricerca: Article

15 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Scuba diving is now one of the major form of commercial use of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world and the control of its potential impacts on the marine environment represents a fundamental key to manage this recreational activity in highly dived areas. A potential tool to tackle such issues has been thought to be the definition of a value of recreational carrying capacity of an area, but this approach has been rarely considered management-effective. Therefore, the first step for effectively managingscuba-diving should be ‘bottom-up’: characterizing the benthic communities potentially affected by diving and evaluating their vulnerability. Aim of this paper is to propose a tool to define an index of vulnerability for dive trails (STVI: scuba trail vulnerability index).This has taken into consideration both physical and biological features of each trail. All the considered features are represented by non-quantitative variables, because either they are purely qualitative or their quantitative measurement is impractical. The management of such qualitative information and its translation into a formal methodology was performed by means of fuzzy logic, which has been repeatedly proposed as a powerful technique to develop indices of environmental quality. The approach adopted in this study provided auseful tool for the preliminary assessment of the potential vulnerability of benthic assemblages to scuba-diving and may represent an alternative method to the assessment ofcarrying capacity. The application of this index will enable management strategies forpotentially reducing the degradation of benthic organisms/assemblages, and allowing asustainable use of MPAs.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1201-1217
Numero di pagine17
RivistaDefault journal
Volume18
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2009

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protected area
conservation areas
vulnerability
case studies
scuba diving
diving
fuzzy logic
environmental quality
benthos
recreation
carrying capacity
benthic organisms
marine environment
methodology
recreational activity
fuzzy mathematics
degradation
index

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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Developing a scuba trail vulnerability index (STVI): a case study from a Mediterranean MPA. / Milazzo, Marco; Chemello, Renato; Di Franco, Antonio; Marchini, Agnese.

In: Default journal, Vol. 18, 2009, pag. 1201-1217.

Risultato della ricerca: Article

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AU - Chemello, Renato

AU - Di Franco, Antonio

AU - Marchini, Agnese

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N2 - Scuba diving is now one of the major form of commercial use of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world and the control of its potential impacts on the marine environment represents a fundamental key to manage this recreational activity in highly dived areas. A potential tool to tackle such issues has been thought to be the definition of a value of recreational carrying capacity of an area, but this approach has been rarely considered management-effective. Therefore, the first step for effectively managingscuba-diving should be ‘bottom-up’: characterizing the benthic communities potentially affected by diving and evaluating their vulnerability. Aim of this paper is to propose a tool to define an index of vulnerability for dive trails (STVI: scuba trail vulnerability index).This has taken into consideration both physical and biological features of each trail. All the considered features are represented by non-quantitative variables, because either they are purely qualitative or their quantitative measurement is impractical. The management of such qualitative information and its translation into a formal methodology was performed by means of fuzzy logic, which has been repeatedly proposed as a powerful technique to develop indices of environmental quality. The approach adopted in this study provided auseful tool for the preliminary assessment of the potential vulnerability of benthic assemblages to scuba-diving and may represent an alternative method to the assessment ofcarrying capacity. The application of this index will enable management strategies forpotentially reducing the degradation of benthic organisms/assemblages, and allowing asustainable use of MPAs.

AB - Scuba diving is now one of the major form of commercial use of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world and the control of its potential impacts on the marine environment represents a fundamental key to manage this recreational activity in highly dived areas. A potential tool to tackle such issues has been thought to be the definition of a value of recreational carrying capacity of an area, but this approach has been rarely considered management-effective. Therefore, the first step for effectively managingscuba-diving should be ‘bottom-up’: characterizing the benthic communities potentially affected by diving and evaluating their vulnerability. Aim of this paper is to propose a tool to define an index of vulnerability for dive trails (STVI: scuba trail vulnerability index).This has taken into consideration both physical and biological features of each trail. All the considered features are represented by non-quantitative variables, because either they are purely qualitative or their quantitative measurement is impractical. The management of such qualitative information and its translation into a formal methodology was performed by means of fuzzy logic, which has been repeatedly proposed as a powerful technique to develop indices of environmental quality. The approach adopted in this study provided auseful tool for the preliminary assessment of the potential vulnerability of benthic assemblages to scuba-diving and may represent an alternative method to the assessment ofcarrying capacity. The application of this index will enable management strategies forpotentially reducing the degradation of benthic organisms/assemblages, and allowing asustainable use of MPAs.

KW - Diving

KW - Fuzzy logic

KW - Index

KW - Marine protected areas

KW - Vulnerability

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