by / Friday, 20 May 2016 / Published in News


The BENTIX index (Simboura & Zenetos, 2002) was developed for the purposes of the European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC (WFD) and for the assessment of the ecological quality status of benthic macroinvertebrates’ communities. The BENTIX index (1) is a biotic index based on the concept of indicator groups and uses the relative contribution of tolerant and sensitive taxa in general, weighting them accordingly to the ratio of their occurrence in the benthic fauna by definition. The metric renders a five step numerical scheme for the classification of benthic communities. The index has been successfully intercalibrated with other metrics within the Mediterranean geographical intercalibration group (MedGIG) and established as a national method in Greece and Cyprus for the classification of benthic communities under the WFD (5,6,8). It has been successfully applied for the classification of coastal water bodies of Greece throughout the first monitoring cycle (9,10). It has also been tested over a wide variety of geographical areas and soft bottom benthic communities types against various anthropogenic pressures such as eutrophication and organic pollution, mining residues, aquaculture and other pressures (2,3,4,7,10). In order to include also structural components of benthic communities for the purposes of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC (MSFD), a formula has been developed combining the Bentix index with diversity indices using specific reference values for different ecotypes (9). For more details see key literature below:

  1. Simboura, N. & A. Zenetos, 2002. Benthic indicators to use in ecological quality classification of Mediterranean soft bottom marine ecosystems, including a new Biotic index. Mediterranean Marine Science, 3/2:77-111.
  2. Simboura N, Panayotidis P, Papathanassiou E., 2005. A synthesis of the Biological Quality Elements for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in the Mediterranean Ecoregion: the case of Saronikos Gulf. Ecological Indicators, 5: 253-266. JIF: 984.
  3. Simboura, N., E. Papathanassiou & D. Sakellariou, 2007. The use of a biotic index (Bentix) in assessing long term effects of dumping coarse metalliferous waste on soft bottom benthic communities. Ecological Indicators, 7(1): 164-180. JIF: 102
  4. Simboura, N. & S. Reizopoulou 2007. A comparative approach of assessing ecological status in two coastal areas of Eastern Mediterranean. Ecological Indicators,7: 455-468. JIF: 102
  5. Simboura, N. & S. Reizopoulou, 2008. An intercalibration of classification metrics of benthic macroinvertebrates in coastal and transitional ecosystems of the Eastern Mediterranean ecoregion (Greece). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56:116-126. JIF: 630
  6. Occhipinti Ambrogi A., Forni G., Silvestri C., Argyrou, M.,Jordana E., Mavric B.,Pinedo, S., Simboura  , Gorazd Urbanic, G., 2009. The Mediterranean intercalibration exercise on soft-bottom benthic invertebrates with special emphasis on the Italian situation. Marine Ecology, 30(4), 495–504.
  7. Simboura, N. & Argyrou, M. 2010. An insight into the function of benthic classification indices tested in Eastern Mediterranean coastal waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60(5): 701-709.
  8. Subida, M.D., P. Drake, E. Jordana, B. Mavrič, S. Pinedo, N. Simboura, J. Torres, F. Salas. 2012. Response of different biotic indices to gradients of organic enrichment in Mediterranean coastal waters: implications of non-monotonic responses of diversity measures. Ecological Indicators 19 (2012) 106–117.
  9. Simboura, N., M. Tsapakis, A. Pavlidou, G. Assimakopoulou, K. Pagou, H. Kontoyiannis, Ch. Zeri, E. Krasakopoulou, E. Rousselaki, N. Katsiaras, S. Diliberto, M. Naletaki, K. Tsiamis, V. Gerakaris, P. Drakopoulou, P. Panayotidis. 2015. Assessment of the environmental status in Hellenic coastal waters (Eastern Mediterranean): from the Water Framework Directive to the Marine Strategy Water Framework Directive. Mediterranean Marine Science. 16/1: 46-64.
  10. Pavlidou, A., N. Simboura, Rousselaki, M. Tsapakis, K. Pagou, P. Drakopoulou, G. Assimakopoulou, H. Kontoyiannis & P. Panayotidis, 2015. Methods of eutrophication assessment in the context of the water framework directive: examples from the Eastern Mediterranean coastal areas. Methods of eutrophication assessment in the context of the water framework directive: Examples from the Eastern Mediterranean coastal areas. Continental Shelf Research (2015), 108:156-168.

A freeware programme for calculating the Bentix index is downloadable from the HMCR link:

Download  Bentix index
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