New layers in the Barcelona Biodiversity Atlas
created entirely from citizen data!

The Barcelona City Council has expanded the Biodiversity Atlas with six new layers, two of them dedicated to the marine environment, created completely with citizen data collected by the GUARDEN partner ICM-CSIC. This new version of the Atlas, a digital tool open to the public that offers detailed information about the city’s flora and fauna, includes more than 450 new species distributed among the layers of spontaneous herbs in tree pits, meadows, herbaceous plants, planter plants, crustaceans, and mollusks. With this update, the Atlas consists of a total of 14 layers of different fauna and flora groups. It also updates the pre-existing layers, such as the fish layer, created in 2021 with MINKA data, which has increased from 103 to 122 species.

The crustacean layer, with 87 species, and the mollusk layer, with 249, along with the fish layer, are the only ones created entirely with data acquired by citizens using the citizen science platform MINKA. These data, collected along the Barcelona coast from 2009 to 2023 and validated by the EMBIMOS research team of the ICM-CSIC, was made through citizen science initiatives where citizens participated in snorkeling and diving trips to collect observations, such as the BioMARató, funded by the European projects MINKE, ANERIS, GUARDEN and ECS, outings by the Catalan Federation of Underwater Activities (FECDAS) within the framework of the European project ANERIS, and the UrbamarBio project, co-led by ICM-CSIC and Anèl·lides – Marine Environmental Services.

The data was provided to the Biodiversity Program of the Barcelona City Council along with the species profiles, including photographs taken by volunteers and descriptions of each species. The updated version of the Atlas also includes new species in existing categories.

The publication of the new categories of crustaceans and mollusks highlights that the Barcelona coastline contains a great biodiversity richness, despite the high anthropogenic pressure. The data show that marine biodiversity exceeds terrestrial biodiversity in the city of Barcelona, thus changing the social perception of the natural life of the city’s beaches.

Read more: The Barcelona Biodiversity Atlas now incorporates data on crustaceans and molluscs thanks to citizen science | Institut de Ciències del Mar (