Alientoma, a dynamic database for alien insects in Greece and its use by citizen scientists in mapping alien species

Konstantinos Kalaentzis, Christos Kazilas, Jakovos Demetriou, Evangelos Koutsoukos, Dimitrios N. Avtzis, Christos Georgiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Invasive alien species have been increasingly acknowledged as a major threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem services, while their adverse impacts expand to human health, society and the economy on a global scale. Insects represent one of the most numerous alien organismic groups, accounting for about one fifth of their total number. In Greece, a large number of alien insects have been identified, currently reaching 469 species. In recent decades, the contribution of citizen science towards detecting and mapping the distribution of alien insects has been steeply increasing. Addressing the need for up-to-date information on alien species as well as encouraging public participation in scientific research, the Alientoma website—derived from “alien” and the Greek word “entoma”, meaning insects, is presented. The website aims towards providing updated information on alien species of insects to the public as well as the scientific community, raising awareness about biological invasions and addressing their distribution and impacts inter alia. By maintaining a dynamic online database alongside a strong social media presence since its launch, Alientoma has attracted individuals mainly from Greece and Cyprus, interacting with the website through a total of 1512 sessions. Alientoma intends to establish a constantly increasing network of citizen scientists and to supplement early detection, monitoring and management efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of alien insects in Greece.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1101
JournalInsects
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alien species
  • Alientoma
  • Citizen science
  • Greece
  • Invasive species
  • Public engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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