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Seagrasses project

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"Еcological status of marine ecosystems along the Bulgarian Black sea coast", a project funded be the National Science Fund (DO 02-218/2008)

Project title: Еcological status of marine ecosystems along the Bulgarian Black sea coast and relation to the structure and state of communities of macroalgae and seagrasses (g. Cystoseirа and g. Zostera).

Project leader: Dr Georgi Hiebaum


Seagrasses and macroalgae are biological quality elements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/EC). In the Natura 2000 netrowk. They form three important protected habitats according Habitat Directive 92/43/ECC: 1110 (sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time), 1160 (large shallow inlets and bays), 1170 (reefs).

The main objective of the project is to find the relation between structure and state of the macroalgae and seagrasses communities and the ecological status of the Bulgarian Black Sea coastal zone.

The research tasks are in two groups: i) macroalgae on reefs and ii) Zostera meadows. The communities will be characterized with coverage and density, species abundance ratio, biomass, species morphological and functional features, horizontal and depth distribution. Wave exposure, vertical or horizontal position of the substrate will be also considered. Chlorofill A, sestone, inorganic and total P and N forms, Secchi disk depth, ToC, organic matter destruction rates, PAR will characterize the water column. Zostera colonized sediments will be characterized by redox potential (Eh), dissolved O2, pH, dissolved sulfides & sulfates, nutrients, total organic matter, grain size, porosity, organic matter destruction and sulphate reduction rates. Bacterial diversity within sediments colonized by Zostera will be studied by application of a molecular biology approaches.

The sampling stations for macroalgae will be chosen in one referent and one impacted site. In the case of Zostera meadows, the stations will be placed along the gradient of waste water discharge in a bay. The community characteristics will be assessed using European practice for the macroalgae and eelgrass (WFD).

Expected results:

  • Main characteristics of the communities defining their ecological status in referent and impacted sites will be established
  • The connection between the environmental parameters and the status of the communities will be elucidated.
  • Methods for determination the ecological status using macroalgae and eelgrass as quality elements (according to WFD) will be tested and evaluated in the special condition of the Black Sea.

Additional information:

Created by gpv
Last modified 19.07.2010 17:49

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