The present paper is an attempt to test the applicability of the trophic state index (TRIX) for scaling the eutrophication along the Bulgarian Black Sea coastal zone in concert with a number of chemical and biological descriptors aimed at selection of relevant indicators of marine coastal area ecological quality. The following environmental parameters have been considered: to, salinity, nutrients - inorganic P, N and dissolved Si, dissolved oxygen and oxygen saturation, phytoplankton - taxonomic structure, abundance and biomass, chlorophyll a, zooplankton - taxonomic structure, abundance and biomass. Principal Component Analysis was applied in order to figure out and score the most relevant combination of parameters to discriminate between sites and select representative descriptors (pressure/state) of eutrophication. The following variables are defined as relevant descriptors for classification of the sites: nutrients (N, P, Si) and their molar ratios (N:P and Si:P), the capacity of the system to produce and sustain organic matter (chlorophyll a, phytoplankton biomass), phytoplankton taxonomic dominance (Bacilariophyceae:Dinophyceae biomass ratio), grazing pressure (phytoplankton:zooplankton biomass, Bacilariophyceae:Copepoda), plankton diversity index (Hb and Ha) and the trophic state index (TRIX). The investigated sites under a different anthropogenic impact are classified according to selected descriptors and their water quality state.

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