Broad-scale ecological distribution of dominant macrozoobenthic taxa of the northern Cilician Shelf, eastern Mediterranean Sea: Molluscs
Potential benthic molluscan community were studied seasonally in associated with the environmental parameters in 2005-2007, by covering broad scale region of the Cilician shelf with three transects containing seven different bottom sampling depth (10, 25, 50, 75, 100 150 and 200 m),. Totally, 61 molluscan species composing of 3 placophoran, 45 bivalve and 13 gastropod classes were recorded in the different habitats of vegetated and non-vegetated soft bottoms that have ecologically disturbed and undisturbed conditions along the Turkish coasts of the Cilician Basin in the Levantine Sea. Most effects of habitat, eco-hydrographical conditions on the molluscan community occurred on the bottom shallower than 50 m. The community of deeper zone of the shelf was not affected significantly by the conditions. Accordingly, spatio-temporal shifts in the feeding types of species dominating the community in terms of numbers and biomass were concluded to sustain the ecosystem of an oligotropihic sea.