Three articles published by AZTI-Tecnalia amongst the most cited in 'Marine Pollution Bulletin'
Scientists Iñigo Muxika, Ángel Borja and Juan Bald received the accolade in the journal as the principal authors of the three articles, in which other researchers from AZTI-Tecnalia and other bodies also participated. The three scientists also appear as co-authors of two other articles included in the list of the 50 most cited publications. The texts published by record the marine contamination and the impact thereof on fauna and persons, as well as new ways of measurement, analysis and impact evaluation. The repercussion of these articles is very much linked with the goals set by the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EEC Directive). This Directive sets out guidelines for developing methodologies enabling the evaluation of the ecological state and transition of the coastal waters of state members, in such a way that the results obtained can be intercalibrated and compared. The awarded articles drew up methodological proposals for the evaluation of the physicochemical and biological state (of benthos communities, in concrete) which, together with other elements, enabled a final evaluation of the ecological state of coastal waters and transition and, thereby, complied with the Directive, the main goal of which is that that these waters be in an ecologically balanced state by 2015. The interest expressed in these articles is also due to the great international success of the ‘Azti Marine Biotic Index —AMBI—’, a tool created by AZTI-Tecnalia for determining the quality of the medium, based on the state of the species found on the seabed. Using mathematical analysis, AMBI enables comparing the new data obtained by the researchers with other, historical reference data. Concretely, this index has more than 5,900 items of reference on the estuaries and coastal systems of Europe, America, Africa and Asia. The AMBI index is currently being employed by marine research centres and universities all over the world and forms part of seabed research in countries such as the United States, China, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Uruguay, Greenland, Reunion Island and Indonesia, as well as all the European countries. Moreover, with the aim of bringing the AMBI index into line with the European Water Framework Directive, AZTI-Tecnalia has developed a variant thereof known as M-AMBI; this includes new data on the diversity and wealth of benthos. This research was undertaken through a contract with the Basque Water Agency, which applied the index to the evaluations carried out in Euskadi. This new tool has become the official method for studying seabed species in Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland, base their methods on this. 1 - Muniz, P., N. Venturini, A.M.S. Pires-Vanin, L.R. Tommasi, , 2005. , 50: 624-637. 2 - , 2005. , 50: 1508-1522. 3 - , 2005. , 50: 787-789. 4 - , A., A.B. Josefson, A. Miles, , F. Olsgard, G. Phillips, , B. Rygg, 2007. , 55: 42-52. 5 - , 2007. , 55: 16-29. (Using historical data, expert judgement and multivariate analysis in assessing reference conditions and benthic ecological status, according to the European Water Framework Directive)