Vol. 24, Number 2, 2018

Ecological quality of the Sea of Marmara (Turkey) assessed by the Marine Floristic Ecological Index (MARFEI)   

Ergün Taşkın, Kostas Tsiamis, Sotiris Orfanidis 

Manisa Celal Bayar University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Biology, Muradiye, Yunusemre, 45140, Manisa, TURKEY
Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Anavissos, 19013 GREECE
European Commission, Joint Research Centre – Directorate for Sustainable Resources, Water & Marine Resources Unit, Ispra, ITALY
Fisheries Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter, 640 07 Nea Peramos, Kavala, GREECE

Abstract 

Benthic macrophytes (macroalgae and angiosperms) are proposed as biological elements to assess the ecological status of coastal and transitional waters within the EU Water Framework Directive. In the present paper, a sampling of benthic macrophytes was made from 0-5 m depth at 25 different sites of the Sea of Marmara (Turkey) in 2015 and the Marine Floristic Ecological Index (MARFEI) was applied. Macrophytes were classified into five ecological status groups: ESGI (IA, IB, IC; late-successional taxa such as Cystoseira spp., angiosperms, calcareous algae) and ESGII (IIA, IIB; opportunistic taxa such as filamentous and sheet-like green algae). The study revealed good ecological status class (ESC) for 1 site, moderate for 11 sites, poor for 10 sites, and bad for 3 sites. MARFEIEQR showed a strong negative linear relationship with the pressure index MA-LUSI. Nevertheless, the results of this study have to be validated by similar studies in other georgaphical areas.

Keywords: Angiosperms, MARFEI, pressures, marine algae, taxonomy

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