A new non-destructive method for the assessment of the ecological status of coastal waters by using marine macrophytes
Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Manisa Celal Bayar University, Muradiye, Yunusemre, 45140, Manisa, TURKEY
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0531-4546
The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/EC) declared the benthic macrophytes (macroalgae and angiosperms) as biological quality elements to assess the ecological status of coastal and transitional waters. In the present paper, Benthic Ecological Assessment Rapid Index (BEARI) is proposed as a new non-destructive method to assess the ecological quality of coastal waters. The data was obtained by photographic sampling at 9 different sites in the Sea of Marmara (3 sites) and the coasts of Aegean Sea (6 sites) of Turkey. Macrophytes were classified into two benthic ecological groups: BEGI (late-successional taxa) and BEGII (tolerant and opportunistic taxa). By this new non-destructive method, it was found out that 3 sites had “high” ecological quality, 3 sites “good” quality, 1 site “moderate” quality, and 2 sites “bad” quality. The relationship between the pressure index MA-LUSI and new index (BEARI) was also tested and a strong negative correlation was found.
Keywords: Angiosperms, BEARI, ecological status, MA-LUSI, marine algae
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