Application of the bentix index in assessing ecological quality of hard substrata: a case study from the Bosphorus Strait, Turkey
In this paper, a biotic index (Bentix) has been used for the assessment of ecological quality status of shallow water hard substrate benthic ecosystems affected by coastal sewage discharges in the Bosphorus Strait. A significant difference was observed between the control and the discharge stations with regard to Bentix values (Mann-Whitney U Test, p=0.002) and ecological quality status of the discharge stations was worse than that of controls. The index values revealed that sewage discharges caused serious disturbance in macrozoobenthic communities in the area investigated. Although so far it has been used for soft bottom communities, Bentix (with some species scoring modifications) also appeared to work successfully in hard substrates, at least for the present study.