Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Ayşe Van (email@example.com)
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Citation (APA style): Van,A. & Gümüş,A.(2021).Determination of functional structure of soft-bottom marine macrobenthic communities of the Samsun Shelf Area using biological traits analysis. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies,50(4) 473-487. https://doi.org/10.2478/oandhs-2021-0040
Biological Traits Analysis (BTA) was used to investigate the functional structure of marine macrobenthic communities along the Samsun Shelf Area (SSA). Benthic samples were collected seasonally from five different locations and at four different depths using a Van Veen grab sampler. Macrofaunal communities distributed in the SSA were assessed using 10 biological traits to identify characteristic traits for each depth and location. It was found that variability of benthic ecosystem functions in the SSA was driven by biological traits such as maximum size, living habit, sediment position, feeding mode and type of reproductive behavior. Bivalves, polychaetes and crustaceans of small to medium size, biodepositing, burying themselves in the sediment (burrowers) and feeding in suspension were relatively more abundant at depths of 0–60 m. However, the biomass of Amphiura, Abra, Papillicardium and some polychaetes characterized by medium to large sizes, diffusive mixing, free living and feeding on deposit and subsurface deposit showed higher values at depths below 60 m. In general, it is concluded that the functional structure of the benthic infauna in the SSA has adapted to physical disturbance, and communities distributed in this area consist mainly of taxa resistant to mechanical pressure.
We thank Dr. Serdar SÜER and Dr. Melih RÜZGAR for their contribution to the sampling process.
This study was funded by WP3 of the EU Project, FP7 BENTHIS (312088).
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