Article

# The Habitat-creation Potential of Offshore Wind Farms

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## Abstract

Offshore wind farms are the subject of environmental impact assessments in which potential adverse effects are identified and quantified. Those impacts will then require to be mitigated through appropriate design, construction and operation methods. Where environmental impacts cannot be mitigated, operators would be required to compensate the environment or its users for any actual or potential damage. The present study shows that the placement of offshore wind turbines gives the potential for habitat creation, which may thus be regarded as compensation for habitat lost. Using current design criteria and construction methods, the analysis here indicates that the net amount of habitat created by the most common design of offshore wind turbine, the monopile, is up to 2.5 times the amount of area lost through the placement, thus providing a net gain even though the gained habitat may be of a different character to the one that lost. Hence, the study raises important issues for marine nature conservation managers. The study also provides suggestions for further work in order to increase the empirical evidence for the value of mitigation, compensation and habitat creation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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... The installation of OWFs may have some favourable effects onto the local abundance of marine organisms as well ( Fig. 1.3). The deployment of turbines and scour protection layers results in habitat creation (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). The added hard substrates increase the habitat availability for many species (Andersson and Öhman, 2010;Langhamer, 2012). ...
... The added hard substrates increase the habitat availability for many species (Andersson and Öhman, 2010;Langhamer, 2012). The addition of the scour protection layers surrounding the base of monopiles and gravity-based foundations can further change the natural habitat (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Langhamer, 2012). This habitat creation ( Fig. 1.4) increases the heterogeneity of the marine environment (Petersen and Malm, 2006;Langhamer, 2012). ...
... Fisheries exclusion could lead to an increase in the species abundances and growth by reducing mortality rates of target species (Leonhard et al., 2011;Lindeboom et al., 2011) that could potentially contribute to a spill-over effect . Hence, OWFs might have the potential to act as refugia for many species (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). The crevices of the scour protection layer can provide protection against predators and currents for several fish species (Bohnsack, 1989;Reubens et al., 2011). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
In the North Sea, the offshore wind farm (OWF) industry is rapidly developing, with new wind farms being under construction, licenced or planned. These installations induce changes to the marine environment, by adding artificial hard substrates into soft-bottom areas. Multiple vertebrate and invertebrate species are attracted to these structures altering the biodiversity, arising concerns about the impacts of OWFs on the environment, including effects on ecosystem functioning. In this PhD thesis, the effects of offshore wind turbines on the local food web properties were investigated at two levels: (a) detailed food web structure on one gravity-based foundation (Chapters 2 and 3), and (b) local (Belgian part of the North Sea) effects on primary productivity and on fish (Chapter 4 and 5). Colonising assemblages along the entire depth gradient of a gravity-based foundation in the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS) and fish species in close proximity to the same turbine were sampled to get insights in the in situ food web structure. Laboratory experiments with fully colonised PVC panels obtained from a tripod inside an OWF in the BPNS allowed for detailed ex situ observation of the carbon assimilation by colonising species. In Chapters 2 and 3, the food web structure of the colonising assemblages along the depth gradient of the offshore wind turbine, its scour protection layer (SPL) and the surrounding soft substrate were investigated. The objective of Chapter 2 was to investigate whether structural differences in community composition would be reflected in the food web complexity and whether resource partitioning could contribute to the co-existence of such dense communities. This chapter, therefore, focused on the local food web properties between and within different communities along the depth gradient to investigate resource partitioning at both levels (i.e. community-specific study). The aim of Chapter 3 was to investigated whether trophic plasticity is one of the mechanisms contributing to the wide distribution and survival of invertebrate organisms occurring at different depths along the depth gradient of the gravity-based foundation (i.e. species-specific study). For the purposes of these two chapters, stable isotope analysis was performed on the organisms collected from the turbine foundation. The results (Chapter 2) showed that structural community differences are reflected in the food web structure of communities occurring in different depth zones. Resource partitioning was detected both between and within the assemblages. The highest food web complexity was found at the SPL and the soft substrate, where a strong accumulation of organic matter is expected. This high food web complexity was further supported by the results of the species-specific study (Chapter 3), demonstrating that the organisms occurring in these two zones exploited a wider range of resources compared to the organisms found higher up at the turbine. Moreover, this study indicated that most of the investigated invertebrate species found at the offshore wind turbine are trophic generalists, with depth-specific resource use strategies. This suggests that trophic plasticity contributes to the co-existence of invertebrate species within and across the depth zones. In these two chapters, the importance of the SPL and the soft substrate near the turbine foundation is highlighted, since in these zones high resource quantity is accumulated, supporting the presence of organisms of multiple trophic levels. In Chapter 4, the carbon assimilation by colonising assemblages that typically occur at offshore wind turbines in the North Sea was investigated. While the role of colonising species in reducing the primary producer standing stock has previously been modelled for the southern North Sea, real data to validate these models are still scarce. Therefore, an ex-situ pulse-chase experiment was conducted to track the processing of organic matter by colonising organisms on the wind turbine foundations. The results indicated that the blue mussel Mytilus edulis showed the highest biomass-specific carbon assimilation, while the local amphipod Jassa herdmani population as a whole assimilated the highest amount of carbon. This study showed that J. herdmani and M. edulis contributed the most to the local consumption of the primary producer standing stock, since their assimilation was ca. 97 % of the total faunal carbon assimilation. The results of this experiment were upscaled to the total number of all the currently installed turbines (264 monopiles, 48 jackets, and 6 gravity-based foundations) in the BPNS. The total amount of carbon assimilated by the total number of J. herdmani and M. edulis individuals on every type of foundation was calculated and compared with the total annual primary production in the BPNS. It was estimated that 1.3 % of the local annual primary producer standing stock is grazed upon by M. edulis and J. herdmani. This value was compared with the amount of carbon that is not assimilated by the soft sediment macrofauna due to the loss of habitat by the installation of the different foundation types. The data suggest that the presence of offshore wind turbines and their subsequent colonisation by colonising fauna remarkably increases the carbon assimilation compared to the permeable sediment macrofauna inhabiting the same surface area (i.e. footprint of the turbines). As compared to the soft sediments, the presence of jacket foundations causes the highest and the gravity-based foundations the lowest increase in the local carbon assimilation. Chapter 5 aimed at understanding the feeding ecology of fish species that are attracted to artificial reefs, such as OWFs, in the BPNS. Two pelagic (Scomber scombrus and Trachurus trachurus), two benthopelagic (Gadus morhua and Trisopterus luscus) and one benthic (Myoxocephalus scorpioides) species abundantly present close to a gravity-based foundation were sampled. Stomach content and stable isotope analyses were performed to respectively investigate the short- and the long-term dietary composition of these fish species. Both short- and the long-term analyses showed that the benthic and benthopelagic species (species highly associated with the SPLs) feed on the colonising species J. herdmani and Pisidia longicornis. These results imply that these species utilize artificial reefs, such as OWFs, as feeding grounds for a prolonged period. The short-term dietary analysis of Trachurus trachurus indicated a diet based on J. herdmani, but the long-term analysis suggested that this species feeds on zooplankton. Thus, this species feeds only occasionally on the colonising fauna, using the artificial reefs as oases of enhanced resources. Scomber scombrus in contrary does not utilize the artificial habitats of OWFs as feeding grounds at all, since both analyses indicated a diet based on zooplankton. The dietary results of this chapter on the benthic and benthopelagic species corroborate the hypothesis that their local production could potentially be increased. However, this study did not support such statement for the pelagic species. In conclusion, OWFs do influence the local food web properties, with the occurrence of colonising organisms slightly lowering the water column primary producer standing stock, but also being an important resource for organisms of higher trophic levels. Altogether, the major role of suspension feeding organisms with key roles M. edulis and J. herdmani was highlighted in this thesis. These organisms were responsible for the reduction of the local annual primary producer standing stock and they increased the local food web complexity, mainly through their biodeposition process. Furthermore, the importance of SPLs as newly introduced habitats was highlighted throughout this thesis: (a) a high food web complexity was found in this area; (b) their invertebrate species exploit a wide range of resources; and (c) fish species associated with SPLs remain in the area to feed for a prolonged period. Moreover, an over-representation of trophic generalists and an under-representation of trophic specialists were observed, suggesting that more generalist organisms will occur in the North Sea in the future due to the development of more OWFs. Finally, it was shown that the introduction of jacket foundations causes the highest increase in carbon assimilation compared to the other types of foundations, reducing significantly the carbon content of the water column. From the above, it is implied that foundations with SPLs, such as gravity-based and monopile foundations, are possibly more beneficial for the local food webs, but further investigation is necessary to completely understand the effects of OWFs on the marine food webs.
... Understanding the influence of foundation structures on the marine environment is important for an economically optimized and sustainable design of foundation structures, as well as for an evaluation of environmental consequences [5] on the previously unaffected marine environment. Although OWFs contribute to a reduction of the carbon footprint in global energy production, they have an impact on the marine environment, possibly leading to either habitat loss or habitat gain [6,7]. In the European Union, OWFs are subject to directives on Environmental Impact Assessments (Directive 2014/52/EU). ...
... Although Test 1 (U cw = 0.43, KC = 6.7), 2 (U cw = 0.63, KC = 6.7) and 4 (U cw = 0.37, KC = 14.9) partially reveal lower scour depths for a 0D node distance, an acceptable prediction value (improved R 2 from R 2 = 0.89 to R 2 = 0.91 for 0D scour depths) with less underpredicted scour depths is reached in general for Tests 1-5 with the adjusted term in Equation (6). The comparison of final scour depths, therefore, indicates a less pronounced influence of the structural design for lower KC and U cw values and a slightly more pronounced impact of the distance to the lowest node for higher KC values and current-dominated hydrodynamic conditions. ...
... Measured dimensionless scour depth S end /D plotted over U cw for Tests 1-5 0D and Tests 1-5 1D for the upstream side of the structure ((a), Pile 1), as well as for the downstream side ((b), Pile 3), in comparison to Equation(6). ...
Article
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This research advances the understanding of jacket-type platform induced local and global erosion and deposition processes for combined wave–current conditions. To this end, a laboratory study was carried out comparing the equilibrium scour depth for two structural designs that are differentiated in the geometrical distance of the structure’s lowest node to the seabed. Measurements of local scour depths over time have been conducted with echo sounding transducers. An empirical approach is proposed to predict the final scour depths as a function of the node distance to the seabed. Additionally, 3D laser scans have been performed to obtain the digital elevation model of the surrounding sediment bed. Novel methodologies were developed to describe and easily compare the relative volume change of the sediment bed per surface area due to structure–seabed interaction, enabling spatial analyses of highly complex erosion and deposition patterns. The seabed sediment mobility around the structure is found to be highly sensitive to a change in node distance. The decrease of the node distance results in a higher erosion depth of sediment underneath the structure of up to 26%, especially for current-dominated conditions, as well as an increased deposition of sediment downstream of the structure over a distance of up to 6.5 times the footprint length. The results of this study highlight the requirement to consider the interaction of the structure with the surrounding seabed within the design process of offshore structures, to mitigate potential impacts on the marine environment stemming from the extensive sediment displacement and increased sediment mobility.
... This association may only be a localised effect, where fish aggregate around individual turbines and migration between turbines can be dependent on the distance between them (van Hal et al., 2017). Habitat loss due to monopile installation can be offset by the presence of the monopile providing habitat area up to 2.5 times that lost due to its placement, thus increasing net gain (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). Biodiversity of lower trophic level species has been demonstrated to increase due to the turbines providing additional settling surfaces (De Mesel et al., 2015). ...
... In particular, the effects of introducing hard substrate to ecosystems already characterised as such (cobble/rock etc.) is not reported, however, consideration is given in OWF planning processes to ensure minimum disturbance to key habitat features (English et al., 2017). Addition of scour stone protection on the base of turbines may provide additional habitat for shelter dwelling organisms (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Wilson et al., 2010). However the association of fish species with turbines Coates et al., 2016) may increase predator/prey interactions and cause a shift in the dynamics of the ecosystem. ...
... The published literature has largely focussed on interactions between offshore wind developments and seabirds (15 out of 78 publications reviewed by ), marine mammals , substrate and infaunal disturbance Coates et al., 2016),fish populations . The potential habitat enhancement and subsequent benefits have also been discussed (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Krone et al., 2013aKamermans et al., 2018;Sas et al., 2018;Coolen et al., 2019;Tonk and Rozemeijer, 2019). There is a need for research ...
Thesis
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Interaction between the Yorkshire coast static gear crustacean fishery and offshore wind energy development. Being Abstract Globally the offshore wind energy sector has seen an increase in the number of and spatial scale of offshore wind farms in the last decade. Offshore wind farms can be seen as many EU member states answer to meeting their energy demands from renewable sources. The increase in offshore wind developments can create spatial conflict with other marine users such as commercial fisheries. Their ecological effects on macro-benthic crustaceans are not currently widely understood. This thesis focuses on the short-term effects of the construction and operation of the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm and the subsequent closure and reopening of the site to fishing exploitation due to the construction process. There were limited effects of the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm on the size structure and catch rates of the commercially exploited crustaceans sampled over three survey years. The closure of the site during construction saw an increase in the size, abundance, and total egg yield of lobsters from the site. This increase in lobsters produced an adverse effect on the commercial bycatch species in the site. Reopening of the site to fishing exploitation, produced an immediate, short-term increase in effort. The increase in lobster size, abundance and total egg yield produced a dramatic decrease but within six weeks, reflected that of the control area. This thesis demonstrates that the there are few observable short-term effects of offshore wind farm construction on commercially exploited crustacean species. The thesis also demonstrates the effects of a closed area on commercial crustaceans and the effects of reopening the site to exploitation. The results can be used to assist in marine spatial management and future offshore wind interactions with commercially important crustacean fisheries.
... Reviewed literature suggests that OWFs provide similar functions for marine organisms as ARs [18,64,65,[69][70][71]79,111,112] and OWF foundations have even been termed Windmill Artificial Reefs (WARs) [71,113]. These structures act as ARs by providing habitat, food, shelter and spawning opportunities, leading to the aggregation of various fish species around the foundations [65]. ...
... These structures act as ARs by providing habitat, food, shelter and spawning opportunities, leading to the aggregation of various fish species around the foundations [65]. Importantly, scour protection enhances the habitat complexity and thereby augments the reef effect, as highlighted by previous studies [29,70,95,112,113]. ...
... A fundamental objective of this review is to extract knowledge from AR designs and apply it to scour protection research with the aim to potentially enhance favourable ecological functions. Even though the ultimate purpose of scour protection is to prevent the scouring of sediment (Figure 1), scour protection may also provide preferred habitats for several species [112]. The level of complexity, the distance between artificial structures, as well as the building material and water depth are the primary characteristics that determine the efficacy of an artificial structure in terms of supporting fish abundance and biodiversity [12,112,118]. ...
Article
Full-text available
As the development of large-scale offshore wind farms (OWFs) amplifies due to technological progress and a growing demand for renewable energy, associated footprints on the seabed are becoming increasingly common within soft-bottom environments. A large part of the footprint is the scour protection, often consisting of rocks that are positioned on the seabed to prevent erosion. As such, scour protection may resemble a marine rocky reef and could have important ecosystem functions. While acknowledging that OWFs disrupt the marine environment, the aim of this systematic review was to examine the effects of scour protection on fish assemblages, relate them to the effects of designated artificial reefs (ARs) and, ultimately, reveal how future scour protection may be tailored to support abundance and diversity of marine species. The results revealed frequent increases in abundances of species associated with hard substrata after the establishment of artificial structures (i.e. both OWFs and ARs) in the marine environment. Literature indicated that scour protection meets the requirements to function as an AR, often providing shelter, nursery, reproduction, and/or feeding opportunities. Using knowledge from AR models, this review suggests methodology for ecological improvements of future scour protections, aiming towards a more successful integration into the marine environment.
... wind farms, tidal turbine etc.). Marine renewable energy's devices and their associated infrastructures (maintenance platforms, submarine power cables and associated protection and stabilising structures etc.) constitute permanent artificial reefs (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Langhamer, 2012) colonised by hard-substrate benthic species, including epifauna. ...
... ecosystems conservation/restoration, fish stocks enhancement/management etc.; Jensen et al., 2000) and ii) those deployed for another primary purpose, such as oil rigs, breakwaters, or Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) facilities (e.g. windfarms, tidal turbines and wave energy converters) (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Langhamer, 2012;Lima et al., 2019). Worldwide, the number of MRE structures rapidly increases to meet the increasing demand for renewable energy to mitigate global anthropogenic climate change (Copping et al., 2014;Lindeboom et al., 2015;Coolen et al., 2018). ...
... Thus, such reef effects can represent an ecological benefit of MRE, since artificial structures generally host higher diversity, densities and biomass of benthic organisms than the surrounding soft bottoms (Langhamer and Wilhelmsson, 2009;Broadhurst and Orme, 2014). Wilson and Elliott (2009) estimated that in the long term, a wind-turbine facility provides 2.5 times the amount of habitat relative to the initial loss during the installation process, even though this new habitat may be of a different character to the initial one. When their deployment requires the implementation of new exclusion areas for fishing, MRE may thus act as a refuge for commercially-exploited populations, with potential spill-over benefits for adjacent stocks and fisheries (Lindeboom et al., 2011(Lindeboom et al., , 2015. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
In a global context of rapid development of marine renewable energy projects, the aim of this PhD thesis was to better characterise the potential impacts of submarine power cables on coastal benthic ecosystems. The work specifically focused on the impacts associated with the operational phase. The major part of this work was dedicated to the reef effect created by these cables and their protective and stabilising structures on sessile epibenthic communities and mobile megafauna. This work was mainly based on underwater imagery, either video or photo collected in situ by divers. The challenge of working with underwater imagery has led me to optimise image analyses so as to effectively monitor benthic colonisation and to quantify artificial reef habitat provision to commercial species. In addition to this reef effect, colonising organisms are exposed to magnetic fields generated by the power cables. Thus, I designed an experimental study to assess the impact of realistic magnetic fields on the behaviour of juvenile European lobsters (Homarus gammarus). Finally, we explored the ecological impacts of excluding anthropogenic activity from the cables routes and potential benefits for benthic macrofauna. By coupling both in situ and ex situ approaches, my PhD research better characterises the environmental impacts associated with submarine power cables. These results will help to assess the ecological footprint of future power grid connections.
... Noise is also a concern during the pile-driving process, where foundations are hammered into the seabed (Gill, 2005), although alternative seabed fixings are available (Miller et al., 2013). However, once in place, the foundations and scour-protection structure provide hard-attachment substrata for epifauna (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). Additionally, scour protection surrounding the structure can provide a more heterogeneous habitat than was present prior to construction (Petersen and Malm, 2006). ...
... However, noise pollution rather than chemical pollution is likely the biggest problems in the case of wind farms. Many countries require that environmental impact assessments are done prior to constructing an energy installation (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), with the goal of identifying adverse impacts and avoiding, mitigating or offsetting these. In some cases, the localised destruction of habitats will not be able to be avoided or mitigated, thus challenging their co-location with marine protected areas. ...
... In some cases, the localised destruction of habitats will not be able to be avoided or mitigated, thus challenging their co-location with marine protected areas. However, some (e.g., Wilson and Elliott, 2009) have advocated that the benefits of creating new habitats and the subsequent protection of soft-sediment habitats between structures outweigh the costs. For example, Wilson and Elliott (2009) calculated that adding a turbine foundation provides up to 2.5 times the area lost by the placement of the structure. ...
Chapter
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Energy generation sites are increasingly being implemented in coastal and offshore marine spaces, and the rate of implementation is likely to increase in coming decades. In many cases the installation of energy generation structures greatly reduces or entirely prevents other potentially damaging industries, such as fishing and mining, from operating in surrounding areas. These sites also provide hard substratum and complex habitat in what are commonly soft-sediment environments. As such, they have been associated with high rates of colonisation by marine life, increased biodiversity and increased productivity. However, energy generation sites also have the potential to damage and fragment habitats and associated communities, and increase noise and/or chemical pollution in the marine environment. As competition for marine space grows, an emerging literature is increasingly considering whether conservation objectives and energy generation can be colocated. We synthesise available literature from around the world to consider what the potential conservation benefits and negative impacts of marine energy generation sites are. We discuss whether such sites are compatible with marine protected area designation, and examine this argument both from a biodiversity and policy perspective.
... With regard to offshore wind developments, this has been the subject of several studies (e.g. Wilson & Elliott 2009). Throughout the offshore wind industry, monopiles ( Figure 4.1) are still the most commonly used form of turbine foundation, used for 75% of all turbines installed (EWEA 2014). ...
... The key element to consider is not just the introduction of new habitat, which may be considered a positive development (Wilson & Elliott 2009), but the introduction of a new type of habitat, that is the introduction of hard material into an area where this generally did not exist. As a result, this must be considered an important habitat replacement, rather than merely habitat creation. ...
... Any structure in the marine environment has the potential to become an artificial reef through colonisation by marine biota (Wilson & Elliott 2009;Wilson et al. 2010), and will inevitably create different and/or additional habitat to that originally present. Although the footprint of a typical turbine foundation is estimated at less than 1% of the wind-farm area (Petersen & Malm 2006) and despite turbine foundations and scour protection removing the underlying infaunal habitat, the monopile and scour protection with which it is replaced can create 2.5 times the amount of area that was lost (Wilson & Elliott 2009). ...
Chapter
This review of published and unpublished information demonstrates that offshore wind farms (OWFs) have major effects on the benthos; that is, the seabed flora and fauna. By adding artificial hard substrata to the marine ecosystem, OWFs create new habitat for colonising benthic species, allowing attachment and attraction of hard-substratum species, in ‘the artificial reef effect’. The general exclusion of fisheries further creates flourishing soft-sediment benthic communities. Although wind farms hardly extend the distribution range of hard-substratum species, they may be stepping stones for non-indigenous species. Such an increase in benthic diversity, however, is countered by the loss of, disturbance to and/or alteration of the natural seabed. Despite this, it may be concluded that OWFs create local hotspots of benthic diversity, directly influencing the local marine food web. During construction, the biomass of forage species decreases, affecting predatory and scavenging species negatively and positively, respectively. Mobile predatory species tend to leave the area during construction. Once installed, the flourishing benthic communities greatly increase in benthic foraging species and attract predators. The surrounding natural sediments are affected by the deposition of organic matter from the epibionts on the turbine monopoles and scour protection and by the altered predator community. Given that a new ecological equilibrium in the benthic system will develop over 20–30 years, it is arguable whether a return to the pre-construction state following full decommissioning would be feasible or desirable. In contrast, a ‘renewables-to-reefs’ decommissioning scheme involving only partial removal of the wind farm could ensure protection for ecologically valuable sites. While many data already exist, it is difficult to detect significant effects because these are proportional to the degree of change and the changes may take place at different spatial scales. This should be taken into account in OWF monitoring.
... The species that colonize artificial infrastructure may depend on the type of material used (Airoldi et al., 2015;Firth et al., 2016). Protective coverings such as boulders, that are associated with MREI, can create complex communities with biomass increasing over time (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). However, these components will be costly and extremely difficult to remove without significant detriment to the marine environment (Smyth et al., 2015). ...
... Partial, rather than total, removal of subsea structures associated with MREIs at the end of their operational life, has been advocated (Smyth et al., 2015), so that the marine habitat and associated ecosystem service provision can be sustained. As the cables associated with offshore wind turbines may create habitat for species recolonization (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), cables associated with other MREI, such as wave energy developments, may also provide habitat enhancement and associated biodiversity and ecosystem services, although such data are not routinely collected for subsea cable installations (Murray et al., 2018). Furthermore, wave energy converters (WECs) may be installed in habitats which differ from offshore wind installations in their seabed characteristics and hydrodynamic requirements, with the installation of wind turbines typically taking place in sites with soft substratum and low hydrodynamic forcing (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), while WECs are not constrained in the same manner and may be installed on hard substratum, ideally in areas of greater hydrodynamic forcing. ...
... As the cables associated with offshore wind turbines may create habitat for species recolonization (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), cables associated with other MREI, such as wave energy developments, may also provide habitat enhancement and associated biodiversity and ecosystem services, although such data are not routinely collected for subsea cable installations (Murray et al., 2018). Furthermore, wave energy converters (WECs) may be installed in habitats which differ from offshore wind installations in their seabed characteristics and hydrodynamic requirements, with the installation of wind turbines typically taking place in sites with soft substratum and low hydrodynamic forcing (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), while WECs are not constrained in the same manner and may be installed on hard substratum, ideally in areas of greater hydrodynamic forcing. ...
Article
Full-text available
Offshore marine renewable energy installations (MREI) introduce structure into the marine environment and can locally exclude destructive, bottom trawl fishing. These effects have the potential to aid restoration of degraded seabed habitats but may be constrained by timescales of ecological succession following MREI construction, and the removal of infrastructure during decommissioning. To inform managers about appropriate decommissioning strategies, a 25 km cable and associated rock armouring (Wave Hub, UK), installed on rocky reef, was monitored up to 5 years post-deployment. The epibenthic Assemblage composition, and Number of taxa remained significantly different from surrounding controls, while Abundance was similar in all survey years between the cable and controls. Six morphotaxa showed four patterns of colonization on cable plots compared to the controls: (i) Early colonization, which remained in greater abundances (Porifera), (ii) early colonization, converging (Turf), (iii) slow colonization, converging Anthozoa and Vertebrata), and (iv) slow colonization, remaining lower in abundance (Tunicata and Echinodermata). The environmental relevance of this MREI is considered relatively benign as it covers 0.01% of the surrounding bioregion, appears to be supporting similar assemblages to the surrounding habitat, and exhibited minimal evidence of invasive species (three records of two non-native species). Longer monitoring timescales are required to provide comprehensive, site-specific decommissioning advice.
... In addition to mere introduction of hard substrata, offshore structures contribute to the creation of critical habitat and refugia through their three-dimensional structure, therefore increasing the ecological carrying capacity of specific areas (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). A habitat's carrying capacity and hence the survival rate of its species are de facto functions of refuge availability for distinct life-history stages, with "habitat saturation" for a given stage possibly resulting in a bottleneck in production (Caddy and Stamatopoulos, 1990;Caddy, 2008). ...
... A habitat's carrying capacity and hence the survival rate of its species are de facto functions of refuge availability for distinct life-history stages, with "habitat saturation" for a given stage possibly resulting in a bottleneck in production (Caddy and Stamatopoulos, 1990;Caddy, 2008). When combined with increased feeding opportunities, habitat creation enhances ecological functioning and trophic efficiency alike (Bombace, 1989;Leitão et al., 2007;Wilson and Elliott, 2009). Highly productive systems, in turn, have potential to contribute substantially to biomass production (Nishimoto et al., 2019a), and records exist of juvenile reef fish recruits being more abundant at platforms than at numerous natural sites (Claisse et al., 2014;Smith et al., 2016;Nishimoto et al., 2019b). ...
Article
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Offshore Oil and Gas (O&G) infrastructure affords structurally complex hard substrata in otherwise featurless areas of the seafloor. Opportunistically collected industrial ROV imagery was used to investigate the colonization of a petroleum platform in the North Sea 1–2 years following installation. Compared to pre-construction communities and pioneering colonizers, we documented 48 additional taxa, including a rare sighting of a pompano (Trachinotus ovatus). The second wave of motile colonizers presented greater diversity than the pioneering community. Occurrence of species became more even over the 2 years following installation, with species occurring in more comparable abundances. No on-jacket sessile taxa were recorded during first-wave investigations; however, 17 sessile species were detected after 1 year (decreasing to 16 after 2). Motile species were found to favour structurally complex sections of the jacket (e.g. mudmat), while sessile organisms favoured exposed elements. Evidence of on-jacket reproduction was found for two commercially important invertebrate species - common whelk (Buccinum undatum) and European squid (Loligo vulgaris). Moreover, abundance of larvae-producing species experience an 8.5-fold increase over a 2-year period compared to baseline communities. These findings may have implications for decommissioning and resource-management strategies, suggesting that a case-by-case reviewing approach should be favoured over the most common “one size fits all”.
... Studies presented in this section found a varying degree of potential impacts, depending on the location, the extraction technique and the (subset of ) processes under investigation, and the models and assumptions used. Effects can be classified as near-field (<1 km), far-field (>1-10 km) and regional (>10 km), as done for offshore wind farms (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). Tidal range and stream devices have different footprints in the sea and the near-field effects may be quite different, but far-field effects of removal of energy from the tidal system can be rather similar. ...
... There is a suggestion, mentioned in Section 1, that bottom-mounted structures may provide an artificial reef effect, providing food or shelter for breeding fish, and hence attracting marine mammals (Russell et al., 2014). The analysis of Wilson and Elliott (2009) indicated that habitat can be created by the most common design of offshore wind turbine, the monopile, of up to 2.5 times the amount of area lost through the placement, thus providing a net gain, even though the gained habitat may be of a different character to the one lost. In the case of floating wind turbines, there may be parallels with the impacts of WECs. ...
Chapter
Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE), comprising marine (wave and tidal energy), and offshore wind, has the potential to supply large amounts of ‘green’ sustainable energy, reducing CO2 emissions. The main obstacles to deployment so far are technical challenges and cost. However, there are also concerns about how harnessing offshore energy can affect the local habitats and marine life, as well as introducing far-field and long-term changes in the physical environment of the sea, which may combine with climate change in unforeseen ways to affect marine ecosystems. The precautionary principle, combined with the requirement for monitoring, introduces obstacles (and costs) which have so far prevented the deployment of offshore renewable energy on a large scale. Here we discuss the physical changes that may occur and the impacts these may have on habitats, species and ecosystems. We explore the possible environmental impacts of offshore wind and marine energy deployment and the options for mitigation of these. This information can assist planners, regulators and developers of offshore energy systems. Some examples of existing and proposed deployments are provided (mainly focusing on the UK), in order to illustrate discussion of the environmental issues. We identify the need for better understanding of the environmental impacts at a population and ecosystem level and identify a way forward to improve the environmental consenting process.
... Hard structures associated with offshore wind farms including turbine foundations, scour protection zones, and cabling could potentially offer refuge from predation, shelter from ocean currents, hard surfaces for benthic forage to grow on, and enriched macrobenthic communities in the soft sediment between turbines which could provide further food resources Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Andersson and Ohman, 2010;Langhamer, 2012). As these structures are generally installed in areas of soft sediment habitats, they represent hard-bottom, structural habitat for sessile and mobile biota that was not previously present. ...
... As these structures are generally installed in areas of soft sediment habitats, they represent hard-bottom, structural habitat for sessile and mobile biota that was not previously present. Wilson and Elliott (2009) estimated that turbines with monopole foundations could create 2.5 times more habitat than they eliminate. Provision of habitat has been described for other manmade structures in marine ecosystems including oil and gas platforms, shipwrecks, and other marine renewable energy structures (e.g., Macreadie et al., 2011). ...
Article
Offshore wind farms are becoming increasingly common in the coastal margins of marine ecosystems worldwide. Yet, the effects that wind farm structures have on fish populations remain unclear. To explore potential effects, a meta-analysis of studies that have examined the abundance of finfish inside of wind farms compared to nearby reference sites was conducted. Using well-established meta-analytic methods, the overall effect size across all studies was calculated, and then changes in effect size for soft-bottom and complex-bottom oriented species were explored in association with several covariates including characteristics of the wind farm (depth, distance from shore, wind farm age), the sampling design (season, gear type, and distance from the turbine sampled), and ecosystem level characteristics (functional feeding group and fishing presence/absence). The overall effect size was positive and significantly different from zero, indicating greater abundance of fish inside of wind farms. Likewise, positive and significant effect sizes were noted for several covariates for both soft-bottom and complex-bottom species. The findings of this study underscore the need for regional, national, and international collaboration on monitoring approaches and data sharing in order to develop a more holistic understanding of how offshore wind farms affect living marine resources.
... They will contribute to the general need for coastal infrastructure such as sea-defences, harbours, jetties and pontoons, as well as other marine energy structures, such as oil and gas platforms. Any firm building material added to the marine environment will potentially become an artificial reef through colonisation by marine biota [4] [5]. Structures range from small floating elements such as marker buoys to large constructions fixed on the seafloor, for example oil rig bases or shipwrecks [6] [7][8] [9]. ...
... Large-scale environmental heterogeneity across locations promotes beta diversity (variation in the composition of species communities across landscapes) and has been shown to increase stability of ecosystem functions [11]. Added wind-turbine infrastructure was estimated to create 2.5 times the amount of habitat which was lost through the placement of turbine foundations, and in the German Bight 35 times more macrozoobenthos biomass is concentrated in wind farm areas compared to soft bottom locations [12] [4]. ...
Conference Paper
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Artificial structures such as wave and tidal energy devices provide surfaces and structures that are naturally colonised by marine flora and fauna. Properties of the building material, surface texture and structural complexity of the infrastructure will determine the suitability as a habitat for marine organisms. While it may be desirable to inhibit fouling of some parts of the energy devices, the colonisation of other features may not compromise their overall functionality. Here we explore opportunities to not just tolerate the colonisation of marine infrastructure, but to design and manipulate features that would deliberately attract and host marine organisms. Serendipitous colonisation would be transformed into deliberately creating artificial reefs on the seafloor as well as floating reefs. This paper focuses on conceptual options for coastal, close-to-shore infrastructure, and it introduces two case studies: a proposed tidal lagoon that exploits tidal range energy and a wave energy converter. Positive reef-effects of these devices could include the enhancement of biodiversity of invertebrates and fish, habitat restoration or the production of commercial species.
... The biomass and species diversity of epifaunal communities at OWFs are much higher than would be found on natural hard substrate (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), with species composition varying with both depth and time, as recorded at both FINO 1 (Krone et al, 2013;Joschko et al, 2008), and the Kentish Flats OWF (Bessel, 2008). The blue mussel is the dominant macrofauna species at shallower depths, while at greater depths Anthozoa and Jassa spp. ...
... 3. Mediated through the associated epibenthic community, OWF constructions can act as stepping stones for the dispersal of exotic species (Glasby et al, 2007). The artificial habitat is open for colonization by new species assemblages (Wilson and Elliott, 2009), which could not quickly establish in soft-bottom sea regions. One example of this is Telmatogeton japonicus, the marine splash midge, which is native to Australasian waters. ...
Article
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The increasing demand for renewable energy is projected to result in a 40-fold increase in offshore wind electricity in the European Union by~2030. Despite a great number of local impact studies for selected marine populations, the regional ecosystem impacts of offshore windfarm structures are not yet well investigated nor understood. Our study investigates whether the accumulation of epifauna, dominated by the filter feeder \mytilus{}, on turbine structures affects pelagic primary production and ecosystem functioning in the southern North Sea. We estimate the anthropogenically increased potential distribution based on the current projections of turbine locations and understanding of \species{M.~edulis} settlement patterns. This distribution is integrated through the Modular Coupling System for Shelves and Coasts to state-of-the-art hydrodynamic and ecosystem models. Our simulations reveal non-negligible changes in regional annual primary production of up to a few percent, and larger changes (up to $\pm10\%$) of the phytoplankton stock, and thus water clarity, during the bloom period. Our setup and modular coupling are effective tools for system scale studies of other environmental changes arising from large-scale offshore wind-farming such as ocean physics and distribution of pelagic top predators.
... Furthermore, vessel transport is supported by hydrological modifications including the construction of canals and other waterways. Similarly, offshore energy platforms, while built above the waterline, require extensive underwater scaffolding (Wilson & Elliott 2009). Comparisons of artificial structures and natural habitats have revealed distinct differences in the assemblages able to colonize and persist on them , Glasby 1999a, Atilla et al. 2003, Chapman & Bulleri 2003, Bulleri & Chapman 2004. ...
... Our finding that biodiversity enhances self-reported human interest in tide pool communities has potential implications in other marine and terrestrial settings. Natural coastal ecosystems around the world are under growing anthropogenic pressure [57][58][59][60] and are increasingly being replaced through artificial hard coastal defence or renewable energy structures 61-63 which themselves may host ecological communities 61,64,65 . These coastal areas are also popular destinations for tourism 10,66,67 and recreation 10,35,[68][69][70] and provide learning opportunities 34,35,71 . ...
Article
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Activities involving observation of wild organisms (e.g. wildlife watching, tidepooling) can provide recreational and learning opportunities, with biologically diverse animal assemblages expected to be more stimulating to humans. In turn, more diverse communities may enhance human interest and facilitate provisioning of cultural services. However, no experimental tests of this biodiversity-interest hypothesis exist to date. We therefore investigated the effects of different dimensions of animal biodiversity (species richness, phyletic richness and functional diversity) on self-reported interest using tide pools as a model system. We performed two experiments by manipulating: (1) the richness of lower (species) and higher taxonomic levels (phyla) in an image based, online survey, and (2) the richness of the higher taxonomic level (phyla) in live public exhibits. In both experiments, we further quantified functional diversity, which varied freely, and within the online experiment we also included the hue diversity and colourfulness arising from the combination of organisms and the background scenes. Interest was increased by phyletic richness (both studies), animal species richness (online study) and functional diversity (online study). A structural equation model revealed that functional diversity and colourfulness (of the whole scene) also partially mediated the effects of phyletic richness on interest in the online study. In both studies, the presence of three of four phyla additively increased interest, supporting the importance of multiple, diverse phyla rather than a single particularly interesting phylum. These results provide novel experimental evidence that multiple dimensions of biodiversity enhance human interest and suggest that conservation initiatives that maintain or restore biodiversity will help stimulate interest in ecosystems, facilitating educational and recreational benefits.
... Direct effects include physical changes to the habitat from the installation of turbines and other structures. In Fig. 1, the blue dashed boxes on the left cover changes in hydrodynamic regime (Matutano et al., 2016), benthic habitat loss or gain and the provision of shelter from fishing and predation (Gill, 2005;Miller et al., 2013;Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Wilson et al., 2010). ...
Article
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The growing awareness of climate change and the recognised need to secure energy production has been a driving force behind the expansion of the offshore wind industry across the world. Benefits from offshore wind farms (OWFs) may extend further than low CO 2 energy production. Wind turbine substructures introduce hard surfaces that are rapidly colonised by epibenthic marine organisms, altering biomass and biodiversity within the local ecosystem. Biodiversity plays a critical role in supporting ecosystem processes and functions that maintain ecosystem services. As offshore wind development continues to grow and modify marine habitats, changes in biodiversity could affect the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, this review sets out to capture the current understanding of epibenthic biodiversity change following the installation of OWFs and attempt to link these changes in biodiversity with marine ecosystem services through the associated processes and functions.
... For example, collision of birds with wind turbines is recorded in the past (Marques et al., 2014) but redesigning wind turbines and wind power plants has decreased such incidents (May et al., 2015). Moreover, some studies proved that the foundations of wind turbines serve as artificial reefs (Langhamer et al., 2009;Wilson and Elliott, 2009). Moreover, noise pollution is recorded mainly on onshore wind farms ...
Article
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Blue energy technology is one of the most promising and emergent RES sectors developed globally. Many of the pilot and/or fully functioning blue energy plants have been installed in northern European countries. Blue energy plants may have onshore and offshore constructions. Even if RES are highly acceptable by community members in a certain region, the construction of such a plant may rise conflicts. Citizens and local public authorities are usually skeptical about its consequences in local economies, environment, and cityscape. MAESTRALE project's main objective is to transfer available blue energy solutions in the Mediterranean basin by creating a quadruple helix model for their implementation, involving all the actors affected (citizens, scientists, policy makers, local authorities, entrepreneurs etc.). MED area is a region having a unique character and history. Its climate, culture, and landscapes make it a perfect tourist attraction in a global scale. Tourism, in other words, is one of the main pillars of the MED economy and it has to be as less affected as possible in the creation and operation of blue energy plants. This paper aims to seek how BE plants would be successfully incorporated in the existing Mediterranean cityscapes and/or landscapes, focusing mainly in Greek territory.
... These pits are often colonised by mobile, fast-growing plant and animal species, and may affect local ecosystems by attracting non-native species (Zucco et al., 2006b). Scour protection may have a similar impact by introducing new materials to the seabed (Dacre, 2007;Whitehouse et al., 2011;Wilson and Elliott, 2009) and while it has been suggested that the protective layer results in a net habitat gain, the habitat gained may be notably different to the habitat lost (Whitehouse et al., 2011). Since the effects of scour are localised to an area roughly 6-10 times the support structure diameter, however, the ecological impact of scour is considered to be low (Dacre, 2007;Zucco et al., 2006b). ...
Thesis
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In recent years, much research has focused on the possibility of using arrays of turbines to generate clean and predictable power from tidal currents. The first such array is now in development but a number of important questions remain unanswered. Among these, how should turbines be arranged within a tidal stream to maximise their collective performance? And what impacts will such devices have on the marine environment? In beginning to address these questions, this thesis takes two important steps toward establishing best practice in the design of tidal turbine arrays. In the first part of the thesis, the social and ecological impacts of marine energy development are reviewed. This review highlights the importance of communication and public engagement in securing support for a marine energy project and identifies the effects of increasing noise and collision risk on marine life as the most pressing ecological issues to be addressed. In the second part, theoretical models of tidal turbines are examined and a simple numerical model is used to extend existing theories on optimal turbine arrangement. The shallow water equations are used to simulate flow through an idealised channel and an actuator disc model is used to represent a single row of tidal turbines as a line sink of momentum. Optimal turbine arrangements are then sought for different and increasingly realistic flow conditions. Results provide new and important insights into the dynamics of flow through partial-width arrays and suggest that arranging turbines unevenly within the flow cross-section can increase considerably their collective power output.
... At the scale of oyster restoration projects, reefs that are designed to provide a diversity of habitat structures (i.e., with high rugosity and vertical relief) across the site are likely to contain more and a higher diversity of fish (Bozec, Alvarez-Filip, & Mumby, 2015) because they provide more feeding opportunities and better sanctuaries from predators, especially for juvenile fish (Peterson et al., 2003). These concepts are widely accepted for artificial reefs (Sherman et al., 2002;Wilson & Elliott, 2009), but require further investigation for oyster reefs (Table 1). ...
Article
Global declines in oyster reefs have resulted in reduced habitat heterogeneity, extent and quality for some coastal finfish, potentially reducing fish populations and catches. It is well established that habitat restoration results in higher finfish biomass and diversity where oyster reefs replace bare substrata. Therefore, restoring oyster reefs with a view to also improving fish stocks is often a key goal of oyster restoration. However, the principles of habitat quality, ecological connectivity and broader ecosystem management are poorly integrated within oyster reef restoration ecology, but such principles may be instructive in enhancing the benefits of projects on fish populations throughout estuarine seascapes. This manuscript presents a framework for projects seeking to restore both oyster reef habitat and finfish communities. Structurally and biologically complex oyster reefs, comprising both oysters and other invertebrates, are required to provide shelter, food and nursery services to fish. By carefully considering site selection at seascape scales (km to 10s of km), restoration can enhance the network of habitat available to fish and potentially increase the overall carrying capacity of the estuary. Managers of estuaries that now include restored oyster reefs should implement fisheries management plans and consider the effects of management actions broadly throughout catchments; failing to do so may jeopardize gains in fish yields. Management decisions must be adaptable, responding to key criteria in thorough monitoring programs. Integrating these ecological and coastal management concepts into oyster reef restoration will enhance outcomes for fishes and increase stakeholder engagement and cost‐effectiveness.
... Furthermore, vessel transport is supported by hydrological modifications including the construction of canals and other waterways. Similarly, offshore energy platforms, while built above the waterline, require extensive underwater scaffolding (Wilson & Elliott 2009). Comparisons of artificial structures and natural habitats have revealed distinct differences in the assemblages able to colonize and persist on them , Glasby 1999a, Atilla et al. 2003, Chapman & Bulleri 2003, Bulleri & Chapman 2004. ...
Chapter
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When humans transport a species to a location outside its native range, multiple biotic and abiotic factors influence its post-arrival establishment and spread. Abiotic factors such as disturbance and environmental conditions determine the suitability of the new environment for an invader, as well as influence resource availability and ecological succession. Biotic processes such as competition, facilitation, predation and disease can either limit or promote invasion, as can emergent community level traits such as species diversity. Synergies arise when the abiotic and biotic factors controlling invasion success are themselves influenced by anthropogenic activities, such as those associated with coastal urbanization and industrialization. Here we present a review of the major anthropogenic activities that affect the success of non-indigenous species (NIS) post-arrival. We prioritize the factors in terms of their ecological and evolutionary importance, and present potential management actions to reduce NIS success post-arrival. Evidence-based management has the potential to mitigate anthropogenic activities that enhance invasion success. High priority management actions include: 1) the removal, or containment, of legacy contaminants and reduction of new inputs to reduce the competitive advantage that some invaders have in contaminated environments, 2) the redesign of artificial structures to reduce colonization by NIS through eco-engineering, selection of construction materials and the ‘seeding’ of structures with native species to provide a priority advantage, 3) the management of dominant regional transport pathways to ensure that the risk of transporting NIS via our ncreasingly complex transport networks is minimized and 4) the protection and maintenance of biotic resilience in the form of intact living habitats and endemic diversity. Further research is required to advance our understanding of the role of anthropogenic activities in driving post-arrival success of NIS. Such work is vital for developing responsive and mechanistic management plans and ultimately for reducing the impacts of marine invasive species.
... Finally, offshore wind development may also lead to benefits in the ecosystem, as a consequence of reduced shipping, commercial trawling and dredging. The mitigation of impacts may facilitate the establishment of large areas of seabed, and consequently, the creation of a new habitat (Linnane, A. et al. 2000;Wilhelmsson, D. et al. 2006;Inger, R. et al. 2009;Wilson, J.C. and Elliott, M. 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape quality has become a fundamental issue in the development of renewable energy (henceforth abbreviated RE) projects. Rapid technological advances in RE production and distribution, coupled with changing policy frameworks, bring specific challenges during planning in order to avoid degradation of landscape quality. The current work provides a comprehensive review on RE landscapes and the impacts of RE systems on landscape for most European countries. It is based on a review by an interdisciplinary international team of experts of empirical research findings on landscape impacts of RE from thirty-seven countries that have participated in the COST Action TU1401 Renewable Energy and Landscape Quality (RELY).
... The occurrence of various organisms aggregating around reefs, outcrops, and other 3D structures is a well-known phenomenon from several studies comparing natural and artificial reef structures (Stone et al. 1979;Bohnsack 1989;Baine 2001). Habitat complexity, the physical substrate and shelter to avoid predation, are all believed to be important factors in attracting organisms to such structures (Stone et al. 1979;Wilson and Elliott 2009;Ashley et al. 2014). The physical difference between the soft bottom plains outside the pockmarks and the carbonate concretions inside is apparent and is reflected in the megafaunal composition with significantly different taxon richness between the "Inside" and "Outside." ...
Article
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Cold seeps can support unique faunal communities via chemosynthetic interactions fueled by seabed emissions of hydrocarbons. Additionally, cold seeps can enhance habitat complexity at the deep-sea floor through the accretion of methane derived authigenic carbonates (MDAC). We examined infaunal and megafaunal community structure at high-Arctic cold seeps through analyses of benthic samples and seafloor photographs from pockmarks exhibiting highly elevated methane concentrations in sediments and the water column at Vestnesa Ridge, Svalbard (79° N). Infaunal biomass and abundance were 5 times higher, species richness was 2.5 times higher and diversity was 1.5 times higher at methane-rich Vestnesa compared to a nearby control region. Seabed photos reveal different faunal associations inside, at the edge, and outside Vestnesa pockmarks. Brittle stars were the most common megafauna occurring on the soft bottom plains outside pockmarks. Microbial mats, chemosymbiotic siboglinid worms, and carbonate outcrops were prominent features inside the pockmarks, and high trophic-level predators aggregated around these features. Our faunal data, visual observations, and measurements of sediment characteristics indicate that methane is a key environmental driver of the biological system at Vestnesa Ridge. We suggest that chemoautotrophic production enhances infaunal diversity, abundance and biomass at the seep while methane derived authigenic carbonates create a heterogeneous deep-sea habitat leading to aggregation of heterotrophic, conventional megafauna. Through this combination of rich infaunal and megafaunal associations, the cold seeps of Vestnesa Ridge are benthic oases compared to the surrounding high-Arctic deep sea.
... Species larvae and juveniles can disperse to the surrounding areas leading to a 'spill-over effect', enhancing local production [143,144,145]. These infrastructures can also create new substrates for benthic organisms [146,99,147]. The creation of new benthic habitats can lead to either displacement or J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f attraction of benthic species in the local area, resulting in changes to local food-web dynamics with both positive and negative impacts on species distribution and abundances [148,149,150,151]. ...
Article
“Blue Growth” and “Blue Economy” is defined by the World Bank as: “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem”. Multi-purpose platforms (MPPs) can be defined as offshore platforms serving the needs of multiple offshore industries (energy and aquaculture), aim at exploiting the synergies and managing the tensions arising when closely co-locating systems from these industries. Despite a number of previous projects aimed at assessing, from a multidisciplinary point of view, the feasibility of multipurpose platforms, it is here shown that the state-of-the-art has focused mainly on single-purpose devices, and adopting a single discipline (either economic, or social, or technological, or environmental) approaches. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to provide a multidisciplinary state of the art review on, whenever possible, multi-purpose platforms, complementing it with single-purpose and/or single discipline literature reviews when not possible. Synoptic tables are provided, giving an overview of the multi-purpose platform concepts investigated, the numerical approaches adopted, and a comprehensive snapshot classifying the references discussed by industry (offshore renewables, aquaculture, both) and by aspect (technological, environmental, socio-economic). The majority of the multi-purpose platform concepts proposed are integrating only multiple offshore renewable energy devices (e.g. hybrid wind-wave), with only few integrating also aquaculture systems. MPPs have significant potential in economizing CAPEX and operational costs for the offshore energy and aquaculture industry by means of concerted spatial planning and sharing of infrastructure.
... Burt et al. (2013) highlight the importance of breakwaters for supporting coral reef fish communities in the rapidly developed marine environment of the Persian Gulf. In addition, studies have revealed the benefits of habitats created by the introduction of marine infrastructures such as oil rigs and offshore wind farms (Kaiser and Pulsipher, 2005;Smyth et al., 2015;Wilson and Elliott, 2009). The efforts to mitigate the negative effect of infrastructures along with further research on the effect of infrastructure on the composition and function of marine ecosystem can further conservation opportunities such as these. ...
Article
Intense human activity in the marine environment poses a threat to marine ecosystem. The ecosystem-based planning and management approach has developed over the past decades with the goal of reducing this threat by defining planning and management of uses in a way that mitigates negative effects on ecosystem structure and function. For oceans and coasts, marine spatial planning (MSP) can further aid the implementation of ecosystem-based management, a widely accepted tenet of planning for the marine environment. It can do so by allocating different uses of space in a way that reduces conflicts for the benefit of the environment. Here, we propose an approach to MSP that incorporates principles of reconciliation ecology for the planning of marine (nearshore) enclosures. The approach supports conservation within and around anthropogenic elements outside of marine protected areas. Since human activity typically involves some damage to natural ecosystem, this research contributes by proposing a way to incorporate ecosystem modeling for MSP that includes human activity. Examining areas of human activity under different management scenarios allows identification of possible trends in human-natural ecosystem interactions. Using such an approach increases marine conservation opportunities, and directs educated and cautious MSP in ways that allow implementation of an ecosystem-based approach.
... Conversely, positive effects such as OWFs functioning as artificial reefs (in which the introduction of turbines results in new habitats and shelters that are immediately colonised by some marine species, thereby resulting in an additional food source for higher trophic levels (TLs) and, consequently, higher biomass of epibenthic and demersal fauna and benthic-pelagic fish, i.e. reef effect (Dan et al., 2006;Raoux et al., 2017)) and acting as no-take zones for fish with https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.01.016 Received 21 August 2018; Received in revised form 22 January 2019; Accepted 24 January 2019 possible spill-over effects have also been demonstrated by several studies (Dan et al., 2006;Inger et al., 2009;Punt et al., 2009;Reubens et al., 2013;Svane and Petersen, 2001;Wilson and Elliott, 2010). Another study by Lindeboom et al. (2011) found that in the sandy area between windmills, no short-term effects on benthos were manifested, while near the new hard substratum, new species and new fauna communities were established. ...
Article
To assess the impact of offshore wind farms (OWFs) on the structure and energy flow of coastal ecosystems, Ecopath models of the Jiangsu coastal ecosystem (JCE) based on biological field data collected before and after the establishment of the Rudong OWFs in 2007 and 2015, respectively, were constructed and compared. The results indicated that after OWF construction, detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton, anchovies, and some benthic fish were positively impacted. The increased primary production and detritus resulted in the increased food supply for zooplankton, which made it possible for planktivorous species (particularly anchovies) to be fed. Consequently, the biomass and production of some benthic fish increased, which indicates a potential reef effect. Other groups with decreased biomasses and productions may have been negatively impacted by the OWFs. Herbivory flows dominated the pre- and post-construction JCE despite their low transfer efficiencies; however, the proportion of detritivory flow increased after OWF construction, and this was especially prominent at high trophic levels. The post-construction JCE was immature with lower system connectivity, trophic flow utilisation, and transfer efficiency. However, the ecosystem tended to develop towards higher maturity with higher energy throughput, ecosystem activity, and recycling capability.
... However, such multi-use has also been considered as a viable concept in the Mediterranean: in France, for combination with future offshore wind farms [73] and in Cyprus, as a feed management system powered by a stand-alone renewable energy system [68] . ...
Technical Report
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Plan Bleu (2022) Towards a Sustainable Development of Marine Renewable Energies in the Mediterranean, Interreg MED Blue Growth Community project.
... Most studies investigated single pressures, with few papers addressing the interaction of two or more pressures produced by wind energy devices [27][28][29] . In total, 24 studies investigated more than one pressure, and only about half of them dealt with three or more pressures (one study investigated four pressures and three studies five pressures [30][31][32] ). Among them, three were literature reviews 30,31,33 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Offshore wind energy is widely regarded as one of the most credible sources for increasing renewable energy production towards a resilient and decarbonised energy supply. However, current expectations for the expansion of energy production from offshore wind may lead to significant environmental impacts. Assessing ecological risks to marine ecosystems from electricity production from wind is both timely and vital. It will support the adoption of management measures that minimize impacts and the environmental sustainability of the offshore wind energy sector.
... Many studies indicate that OWFs may also lead to ecosystem benefits, as consequence of reduced pressures from shipping, commercial trawling and dredging in the area. This may enable the establishment of large areas of seabed, and consequently, creation of a new habitat (Gill 2005, Inger et al. 2009, Wilson and Elliott 2009. Thus, there is a potential increase in local biodiversity (van der Molen et al. 2014). ...
... This has profound benefits for the local and regional environment and the potential local fisheries in the area. [125][126][127] • Impact on ship sailing: The seas area near the coast has abundant and stable wind resources, so it is an ideal location for wind turbines. However, the installation of the wind turbine will inevitably have a certain impact on the navigation of the ship. ...
Article
Wind energy conversion system, aiming to convert mechanical energy of air flow into electrical energy has been widely concerned in recent decades. According to the installation sites, the wind energy conversion system can be divided into land‐based wind conversion system and offshore wind energy conversion (OWEC) system. Compared to land‐based wind energy technology, although OWEC started later, it has attracted more attentions due to its significant advantages in sufficient wind energy, low wind shear, high power output and low land occupancy rate. In this paper, the principle of wind energy conversion and the development status of offshore wind power in the world are briefly introduced at first. And then, the advantages and disadvantages of several offshore wind energy device (OWED), such as horizontal axis OWED, vertical axis OWED and cross axis OWED are compared. Subsequently, several major constraints, such as complex marine environment, deep‐sea power transmission and expensive cost of equipment installation faced by offshore wind conversion technology are presented and comprehensively analysed. Finally, based on the summary and analysis of some emerging technologies and the current situation of offshore wind energy utilization, the development trend of offshore wind power is envisioned. In the future, it is expected to witness multi‐energy complementary, key component optimization and intelligent control strategy for smooth energy generation of offshore wind power systems. Offshore wind energy conversion (OWEC) has attracted intensive attentions due to its significant advantages in sufficient wind energy, high power output and low land occupancy rate. This article firstly introduces the state‐of‐the‐art of the development status of the offshore wind energy technology worldwide, and then comprehensively analyzes the advantages and constraints of the OWEC technology. Finally, the future development trend of the offshore wind energy is envisioned.
... Previous studies have shown that OWFs can impact areas through the introduction and spread of alien species (De Mesel et al., 2015;Wilhelmsson and Malm, 2008), affect organic matter deposition (De Borger et al., 2021) and carbon assimilation (Mavraki et al., 2020), and alter community structures (Coates et al., 2014;Hutchison et al., 2020;Wilhelmsson and Malm, 2008) through the loss of soft-sediment habitats and the subsequent introduction of artificial hard-bottom substrates. The newly created habitat is usually larger than the lost habitat (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). The recorded impacts also in-clude the recovery of the benthic biodiversity as a result of reduced trawling activities (Bergman et al., 2015;Coates et al., 2016) as well as an increase in nurseries for commercially important and/or protected species (Krone et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial substrates associated with renewable offshore energy infrastructure, such as floating offshore wind farms, enable the establishment of benthic communities with a taxonomic composition similar to that of naturally occurring rocky intertidal habitats. The size of the biodiversity impact and the structural changes in benthic habitats will depend on the selected locations. The aim of the study is to assess colonisation and zonation, quantify diversity and abundance, and identify any non-indigenous species present within the wind farm area, as well as to describe changes in the epifouling growth between 2018 and 2020, with regards to coverage and thickness. This article is based on work undertaken within the offshore floating Hywind Scotland Pilot Park, the first floating offshore wind park established in the world, located approximately 25 km east of Peterhead, Scotland. The floating pilot park is situated in water depths of approximately 120 m, with a seabed characterised predominantly by sand and gravel substrates with occasional patches of mixed sediments. The study utilised a work class remotely operated vehicle with a mounted high-definition video camera, deployed from the survey vessel M/V Stril Explorer. A total of 41 structures, as well as their associated sub-components, including turbines substructures, mooring lines, suction anchors and infield cables, were analysed with regards to diversity, abundance, colonisation, coverage and zonation. This approach provides comprehensive coverage of whole structures in a safe and time-saving manner. A total of 11 phyla with 121 different taxa were observed, with macrofauna as well as macroalgae and filamentous algae being identified on the different structures. The submerged turbines measured approximately 80 m in height and exhibited distinct patterns of zonation. Plumose anemones (Metridium senile) and tube-building fan worms (Spirobranchus sp.) dominated the bottom and mid-sections (80–20 m) of the turbines, while kelp and other Phaeophyceae with blue mussels (Mytilus spp.) dominated top sections of the turbines (20–0 m). A general increase in the coverage of the epifouling growth between 2018 and 2020 was observed, whereas the change in thickness between years was more variable.
... Stone protection is often used to protect the base of turbines from sand scour. The introduction of hard substrate in the form of scour stone, can generate a complex habitat further enhancing biodiversity, potentially offsetting habitat loss by up to 2.5 times (Wilson and Elliott, 2009). This can form ideal habitat for crustaceans (Krone et al., 2017) and has been predicted to increase diversity associated with OWF by up to 55% (Raoux et al., 2017). ...
Article
The global expansion of offshore windfarms (OWF), whilst seen as a tool to combat climate change, can often be of concern to fishing communities already challenged by spatial restrictions. Static gear fisheries, due to their strong fidelity to specific sites, can be particularly affected by spatial conflict with OWF. Here we investigate, using four sampling efforts over a six-year period, the effects of the development of the Westermost Rough OWF (UK) on a commercially important European Lobster (Homarus gammarus) population. A collaborative study was developed and conducted by the local fishery and the developer. A baseline potting survey was conducted ∼ every 4 days over the summer months of 2013 (pre-construction) and post-construction surveys were conducted in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Size, catch, and landings per unit of effort (CPUE & LPUE) of all lobsters were recorded and compared between sites and between years. Size structure and catch rates differed between years, however differences were not observed in comparisons of the windfarm and export cable to their associated control sites within each year, although there were compounding factors associated with the proximity of the control sites to the treatment sites. There was a short-term increase in size and catch rates of lobsters associated with the construction phase of the windfarm site, but this was not observed during the subsequent operational phase surveys. Although the impacts of windfarms on fisheries will vary on a case-by-case basis, this study has implications for the expansion of offshore wind developments on other static gear crustacean fisheries.
... • Changes in sediment transport and deposition 116 Additional changes to the surrounding habitat will also occur from the physical presence of the MRED structures in the sea and fishing restrictions within and around the MREDs 110,116,135 . Scour protection around the base of MREDs to reduce erosion acts as artificial reefs and subsequently creates up to 2.5 times more habitat than that lost by array installation, albeit it may be of a different character 136 . MREDs may; therefore, increase biodiversity through new habitat creation 135,137,138 . ...
... Some project components can be selected or designed to avoid or reduce biodiversity impact. 371 The installation of a monopile foundation and the associated scour protection can create 2.5 times the amount of area that was lost through installation (Wilson & Elliott, 2009). ...
Book
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Achieving a climate-resilient future requires rapid, sustained and far-reaching transformations in energy, land-use, infrastructure and industrial systems. Large-scale expansion of renewable energy can play a critical role in meeting the world’s growing energy demands and in the fight against climate change. However, even ‘clean’ energy sources can have significant unintended impacts on the environment. The guidelines aim to provide practical support for solar and wind energy developments by effectively managing risks and improving overall outcomes related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. They are industry-focused and can be applied across the whole project development life cycle, from early planning through to decommissioning and repowering, using the mitigation hierarchy as a clear framework for planning and implementation. The mitigation hierarchy is applied to direct, indirect and cumulative impacts.
... En effet, avec 11 millions 20 de km² de domaine maritime, la France a potentiellement une très grande réserve d'énergie marine à exploiter. Les parcs éoliens en mer, qu'ils soient posés ou flottants, affectent le fonctionnement de l'écosystème (Inger et al., 2009) : -L'effet récif se caractérise par la colonisation par des organismes fixés de toutes les surfaces immergées, qui offrent de nouveaux substrats (Wilson et Elliott, 2009) : pieux pour les éoliennes posées, câbles et flotteurs pour les éoliennes flottantes. Les principales espèces retrouvées sur ces structures sont des bivalves filtreurs, et notamment les moules (Wilhelmsson et Malm, 2008;Langhamer et al., 2009;Krone et al., 2013). ...
Thesis
Les effets actuels du changement climatique dû aux émissions de gaz à effets de serre, sur les écosystèmes et les sociétés sont indéniables. La France dispose de nombreux gisements lui permettant de développer les Energies Marines Renouvelables, et notamment les parcs éoliens, afin d’opérer une transition énergétique. L’objectif de cette thèse est de mettre en place une approche écosystémique estimant les effets combinés de l’implantation d’un parc éolien flottant dans le Golfe de Gascogne et du changement climatique. Premièrement, un modèle de distribution spatiale des espèces a servi à projeter la niche écologique potentielle des espèces de poissons et de céphalopodes du Golfe de Gascogne, ainsi que des espèces subtropicales non indigènes, indiquant une modification des communautés marines. Puis, plusieurs modèles Ecopath ont été mis en place pour projeter les conséquences de ces arrivées sur le réseau trophique actuel, illustrant de nombreux impacts. Enfin, une spatialisation de ces deux premières parties a été réalisée grâce au module Ecospace, pour simuler l’implantation d’un parc éolien flottant, avec ses effets sur la faune marine (i.e. effet récif, effet DCP et effet réserve), dans un écosystème déjà soumis au changement climatique. Les résultats indiquent des effets positifs sur la faune marine à l’intérieur du parc.
... Wind farms may affect seabird populations through several pathways, including: collision (Musters et al. 1996, Desholm & Kahlert 2005, Newton & Little 2009); displacement (Welcker & Nehls 2016, MMO 2018; barriers to movement (Desholm & Kahlert 2005, Masden et al. 2010; and habitat alterations (Inger et al. 2009, Andersson & Öhman 2010. Wind farms may also provide de facto marine protected areas by excluding fisheries (Halouani et al. 2020), and seabird attraction to offshore turbines may arise from potential foraging opportunities created by turbines and other infrastructure acting as epifaunal reefs, fish aggregation devices (Inger et al. 2009, Wilson & Elliott 2009, and/or platforms for resting (Savidge et al. 2014, Dierschke et al. 2016. However, the extent to which seabird collision risk is influenced by the attraction to turbines is currently poorly understood. ...
Article
Movements through or use of offshore wind farms by seabirds while commuting or foraging may increase the potential for collision with turbine blades. Collision risk models provide a method for estimating potential impacts of wind farms on seabird populations, but are sensitive to input parameters, including avoidance rates (ARs). Refining understanding of avoidance through the use of high-resolution empirical movement data has the potential to inform assessments of the collision impacts of offshore wind farms on seabird populations. We assessed the movements of GPS-tagged lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus from a breeding colony in northwest England to estimate the species’ AR and avoidance/attraction index (AAI) to nearby offshore wind farms. To investigate both macro- (0-4 km) and meso-scale (0-200 m) responses to wind turbines, we used calculations of AR and AAI based on simulated vs. observed tracks. We found that birds exhibited an AR of -0.15 (95% CI: -0.44 to 0.06), indicating a degree of attraction within 4 km of the wind farms. However, AAI values varied with distance from wind farm boundaries, with a degree of avoidance displayed between 3 and 4 km, which weakened as distance bands approach wind farm boundaries. Meso-scale avoidance/attraction was assessed with regard to the nearest individual turbine, and flight height relative to the rotor height range (RHR) of the nearest turbine. We found attraction increased below the RHR at distances <70 m, while avoidance increased within the RHR at distances approaching the turbine. We explore how high-resolution tracking data can be used to improve our knowledge of L. fuscus avoidance/attraction behaviour to established wind farms, and so inform assessments of collision impacts.
... ORE systems can also have potential benefits: supplying new habitat for colonization of benthic species (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Krone et al., 2013;Nall et al., 2017;Dannheim et al., 2020), and supplying new nursery areas and feeding grounds (artificial reef effect) (Coolen, 2017;Gill et al., 2018). Similar to existing offshore infrastructure (e.g., oil and gas platforms), an MPP may require establishment of local exclusion zones to other industries (e.g., fishing), thereby inadvertently creating small marine protected areas (Coates et al., 2016;Roach et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Aquaculture and marine renewable energy are two expanding sectors of the Blue Economy in Europe. Assessing the long-term environmental impacts in terms of eutrophication and noise is a priority for both the EU Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and cumulative impacts will be important for the Maritime Spatial Planning under the Integrated Maritime Policy. With the constant expansion of aquaculture production, it is expected that farms might be established further offshore in more remote areas, as high-energy conditions offer an opportunity to generate more power locally using Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) devices. A proposed solution is the co-location of MRE devices and aquaculture systems using MultiPurpose Platforms (MPPs) comprising offshore wind turbines (OWTs) that will provide energy for farm operations as well as potentially shelter the farm. Disentangling the impacts, conflicts and synergies of MPP elements on the surrounding marine ecosystem is challenging. Here we created a high-resolution spatiotemporal Ecospace model of the West of Scotland, in order to assess impacts of a simple MPP configuration on the surrounding ecosystem and how these impacts can cascade through the food web. The model evaluated the following specific ecosystem responses: (i) top-down control pathways due to distribution changes among top-predators (harbor porpoise, gadoids and seabirds) driven by attraction to the farming sites and/or repulsion/killing due to OWT operations; (ii) bottom-up control pathways due to salmon farm activity providing increasing benthic enrichment predicated by a fish farm particle dispersal model, and sediment nutrient fluxes to the water column by early diagenesis of organic matter (recycled production). Weak responses of the food-web were found for top-down changes, whilst the results showed high sensitivity to increasing changes of bottom-up drivers that cascaded through the food-web from primary producers and detritus to pelagic and benthic consumers, respectively. We assessed the sensitivity of the model Frontiers in Marine Science | www.frontiersin.org 1 July 2021 | Volume 8 | Article 694013 Serpetti et al. MultiPurpose Platforms: An Ecosystem Approach to each of these impacts and the cumulative effects on the ecosystem, discuss the capabilities and limitations of the Ecospace modeling approach as a potential tool for marine spatial planning and the impact that these results could have for the Blue Economy and the EU's New Green Deal.
... ecosystems conservation/restoration, fish stocks enhancement/management ;Thierry, 1988;Bohnsack et al., 1991;Jensen et al., 2000) and (ii) those deployed for another primary purpose, such as oil rigs, breakwaters, or marine renewable energy (MRE) facilities (e.g. windfarms, tidal turbines, and wave energy converters; Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Langhamer, 2012;Lima et al., 2019). Globally, the number of MRE structures has rapidly increased to meet the growing demand for renewable energy as a mitigation strategy against global anthropogenic climate change (Copping et al., 2014;Lindeboom et al., 2015;Coolen et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Succession in epibenthic communities on artificial reefs associated with marine renewable energy facilities within a tide-swept environment. Although colonization of artificial structures by epibenthic communities is well-documented overall, our understanding of colonization processes is largely limited to low-energy environments. In this study, we monitored epibenthic colonization of different structures associated with a tidal energy test site located in a high-energy hydrodynamic environment. Using four years of image-based underwater surveys, we characterized changes through space and time in the taxonomic composition of epibenthic assemblages colonizing two kinds of artificial structures, as well as the surrounding natural habitat. Our results highlight that ecological successions followed similar trends across the two artificial habitats, but that different habitat-specific communities emerged at the end of our survey. Deployment of these artificial structures resulted in the addition of elevated and stable substrata in an environment where natural hard substrates are unstable and strongly exposed to sediment abrasion. Although epibenthic communities colonizing artificial habitats are unlikely to have reached a mature stage at the end of our survey, these supported structurally complex taxa facilitating an overall increase in local diversity. We were able to quantify how epi-benthic communities can significantly vary over time in high-energy coastal environment, and our final survey suggests that the ecological succession was still in progress five years after the deployment of artificial reefs. Thus, maintaining long-term continuous survey of coastal artificial reef habitats will be key to better discriminate between long-term ecological successions and shorter-term variability.
... Scour and cable protection at offshore renewable sites can be defined as artificial reef habitats and have created positive reef effects on surrounding ecosystems (Krone et al., 2017;Langhamer, 2012). The use of artificial reefs as an addition or replacement to this infrastructure could significantly enhance the reef effect by increasing habitat complexity, aiding in the restoration of biodiversity (Glarou et al., 2020;Lengkeek et al., 2017;Wilson and Elliott, 2009). The use of artificial reefs and the modification of hard infrastructure to enhance biodiversity are considered of strategic importance to the UK government and statutory bodies (DEFRA, 2011;Natural England, 2021). ...
Article
Reef Cubes® are novel artificial reef units intended to enhance habitat complexity and provide hard substrate around marine man-made infrastructure. If made with Portland Cement, Reef Cubes® could create numerous negative environmental impacts, including a high carbon footprint. Alkali-activated materials (AAMs) are a collection of alternative binders associated with lower embodied emissions but alterations to concrete chemistry can affect the development of marine fouling communities. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of replacing Portland Cement with an AAM binder on the development of macrofouling communities on Reef Cubes®. 25 cm sided Reef Cubes® were manufactured using three different concrete material types and deployed in the subtidal zone of Torbay, Devon, UK. The material types were an alkali activated slag concrete (Type: AAM), a cement-limestone blend (CEM-II) concrete (Type: C) and a cement-limestone blend (CEM-II) concrete with an additional micro silica pozzolan and an exposed aggregate texture (Type: CP). After 1 year of immersion the Reef Cubes® were retrieved, and fouling communities were analysed visually or scraped and weighed to gauge biomass. Univariate metrics of species richness, species diversity, total live cover, total biomass, calcareous mass and live biomass; and multivariate community compositions were compared. There were no significant differences in species richness, species diversity, total biomass, calcareous mass and live biomass between the material types. Total live cover was significantly different; with C appearing the highest, followed by AAM and CP, however pairwise comparisons were not significant. The community compositions on the AAM and C Reef Cubes® were not significantly different. Both were significantly different to the CP material type, which had a higher abundance of erect Bryozoans. The results suggest that compared to cement-based concretes, AAMs are a satisfactory substrate for the development of epibenthic communities on Reef Cubes®. There was also evidence contrary to common artificial reef practice that exposing the aggregate and incorporating a pozzolan improves biodiversity.
... Although offshore wind farms (OWF) contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, they also have an impact on the environment, either leading to habitat loss but also to habitat gain (Wilson and Elliott, 2009;Miller et al., 2013). While different ecological aspects have already been studied, the understanding of ecological consequences over the operational life of OWFs on the benthic environment is still limited (Miller et al., 2013;Heery et al., 2017). ...
Thesis
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In search of available space and higher load factors in the contested coastal areas, offshore wind parks are more often planned and installed in deeper waters or have to sustain intensified hydrodynamic loads. In consequence, complex offshore foundation structures such as jacket-type foundations are adopted more frequently, as they have an increased structural stability. However, the literature review of the present thesis reveals large knowledge gaps regarding the prediction of scouring processes around complex offshore foundations. A reliable prediction of scouring processes is an important aspect of sustainable and economically optimised foundation designs. An improved understanding of morphological processes around offshore foundations is also important to evaluate and predict the man-made impact of offshore foundations on the previously unaffected marine environment. This thesis aims at contributing to the understanding of morphodynamical processes around offshore structures, with a focus on complex offshore foundations. This is accomplished by addressing different research questions related to: (I) the scouring processes induced by a realistic representation of hydrodynamic conditions around monopiles and jacket-type structures; (II) the spatial scour depth changes and deposition patterns around offshore foundation structures; (III) the damage assessment and stability of scour protections. A series of novel hydraulic model tests were carried out to systematically work on different aspects of these topics. (I) In order to further improve the understanding and prediction of scouring under realistic hydraulic conditions, the influence of the hydrograph shape on tidal current induced scour as well as scouring induced by multidirectional waves and currents is investigated around a monopile. Further investigations are conducted regarding the scour development, scouring rate and final scour depth in combined waves and current conditions at a jacket-type foundation structure. (II) In the next step, an approach is developed to quantify and assess spatial changes of the seabed around marine structures. The systematic application of this approach allows the derivation of empirical formulations to predict complex erosion or deposition patterns. This is demonstrated by the investigation of global scour patterns in combined waves and current conditions around jacket-type foundations. In a further study, geostatistical methods are developed for the introduced methodology to further improve the spatial prediction and quantification of complex sediment displacement patterns. (III) In the final step, the characterisation and assessment of damage patterns of scour protection layers is improved by the derivation of a new approach to quantify damage patterns. Large scale experiments under combined wave-current conditions are conducted in this context for uniformly and widely graded scour protection material in a joint group.
Article
The rapid growth of renewable energy developments, particularly offshore wind, means that worldwide there are hundreds of artificial structures in the marine environment that will at some point require removal. Decommissioning activities can have a range of effects on the environment, which are assessed through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prior to removal. EIA provides an opportunity to explore the best environmental options for decommissioning if utilised early in the planning process during the wind farm design. EIA should be utilised as a decision-aiding tool to assess impacts and design mitigation and monitoring across the life of an asset. In this paper, potential environmental impacts, mitigation measures, and alternative actions are explored as examples of best environmental practice-based thinking at a range of scales and for multiple receptors. The removal of structures might be challenging with regards to best environmental options if countries require changes to policy. We pose alternative actions to be considered in EIA which take circular economy into account and maximise environmental benefit in the long term. To enable the best environmental outcomes, we propose that EIA should be used proactively and reflectively with a tailored approach to designing decommissioning.
Article
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Coastal environments, in particular heavily populated semi-enclosed marginal seas and coasts like the Baltic Sea region, are strongly affected by human activities. A multitude of human impacts, including climate change, affect the different compartments of the environment, and these effects interact with each other. As part of the Baltic Earth Assessment Reports (BEAR), we present an inventory and discussion of different human-induced factors and processes affecting the environment of the Baltic Sea region, and their interrelations. Some are naturally occurring and modified by human activities (i.e. climate change, coastal processes, hypoxia, acidification, submarine groundwater discharges, marine ecosystems, non-indigenous species, land use and land cover), some are completely human-induced (i.e. agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, river regulations, offshore wind farms, shipping, chemical contamination, dumped warfare agents, marine litter and microplastics, tourism, and coastal management), and they are all interrelated to different degrees. We present a general description and analysis of the state of knowledge on these interrelations. Our main insight is that climate change has an overarching, integrating impact on all of the other factors and can be interpreted as a background effect, which has different implications for the other factors. Impacts on the environment and the human sphere can be roughly allocated to anthropogenic drivers such as food production, energy production, transport, industry and economy. The findings from this inventory of available information and analysis of the different factors and their interactions in the Baltic Sea region can largely be transferred to other comparable marginal and coastal seas in the world.
Thesis
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Dans le cadre de la transition énergétique, le gouvernement Français prévoit la construction de huit parcs éoliens en mer (offshore) le long des côtes Manche-Atlantique parmi lesquels le futur parc éolien au large de Courseulles-sur-mer. A ce jour, il n’existe pas d’étude globale et intégrée des effets de la construction et de l’exploitation de ces parcs sur l’écosystème. L’innovation principale de cette thèse a donc été de poser les bases d’une approche écosystémique des Energies Marines Renouvelables (EMR) à travers l’exemple du futur parc éolien de Courseulles-sur-mer. Pour ce faire,une combinaison d’outils de modélisation a été utilisée afin de : 1) caractériser le fonctionnement et la structure de l’écosystème du site d’implantation du parc ; 2) tester des scénarios d’évolution possible du fonctionnement trophique du système. Ainsi, un modèle de réseau trophique et trois scénarios ont été construits afin d’analyser les conséquences de l’effet récif et réserve générées par le parc sur l’écosystème. Les indices de l’analyse des réseaux écologiques ainsi que d’autres indices tels que le niveau trophique moyen ont été analysés afin de caractériser le fonctionnement du système.Toutefois, conscient que cet écosystème est menacé par de multiples pressions, il est nécessaire de comprendre comment ces activités humaines vont interagir entre elles et quelles sont leurs conséquences sur l’écosystème dans un contexte de changements globaux. Ainsi, une vision globale des impacts cumulés a également été développée grâce à un autre type de modélisation appelé 'modélisation qualitative’ ou en ‘digraphe orienté’. Les résultats ont mis en évidence des changements dans la structure et le fonctionnement de l’écosystème après la mise en place du parc éolien. Les résultats de ces modèles pourraient être utilisés dans la définition de mesures de suivi après l’installation du parc et dans l’évaluation de la nécessité de mettre en place des mesures de compensation. Enfin, les modèles qualitatifs pourraient également servir d’outils de communication avec le public et ainsi permettre une meilleure appropriation des projets EMR.
Preprint
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Coastal environments, in particular heavily populated semi-enclosed marginal seas and coasts like the Baltic Sea region, are stongly affected by human activities. A multitude of human impacts, including climate change, affects the different compartments of the environment, and these effects interact with each other. As part of the Baltic Earth Assessment Reports (BEAR), we present an inventory and discussion of different human-induced factors and processes affecting the environment of the Baltic Sea region, and their interrelations. Some are naturally occurring and modified by human activities (i.e. climate change, coastal processes, hypoxia, acidification, submarine groundwater discharges, marine ecosystems, non-indigenous species, land use and land cover), some are completely human-induced (i.e. agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, river regulations, offshore wind farms, shipping, chemical contamination, dumped warfare agents, marine litter and microplastics, tourism, coastal management), and they are all interrelated to different degrees. We present a general description and analysis of the state of knowledge on these interrelations. Our main insight is that climate change has an overarching, integrating impact on all of the other factors and can be interpreted as a background effect, which has different implications for the other factors. Impacts on the environment and the human sphere can be roughly allocated to anthropogenic drivers such as food production, energy production, transport, industry and economy. We conclude that a sound management and regulation of human activities must be implemented in order to use and keep the environments and ecosystems of the Baltic Sea region sustainably in a good shape. This must balance the human needs, which exert tremendous pressures on the systems, as humans are the overwhelming driving force for almost all changes we see. The findings from this inventory of available information and analysis of the different factors and their interactions in the Baltic Sea region can largely be transferred to other comparable marginal and coastal seas in the world.
Article
The objective of the paper is to perform a review of the environmental impacts of the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M), and decommissioning of offshore wind technologies. At first, a comprehensive review is presented on offshore wind technologies and techniques related to the installation, O&M, and decommissioning stages. Then a thorough review of environmental issues using the main available studies in the literature associated with the activities of each stage is performed. The review employs an activity–stressor–receptor–impact framework in which the possible positive or negative impacts of an environmental stressor on a specific receptor are identified for each activity, such as pile driving, cabling, blade rotation, etc. Additionally, a case study of Brazil addresses regions with biological resources, marine protected areas, and offshore wind hotspots considering atmospheric reanalysis along the coastline. Moreover, the presence of the offshore oil and gas (O&G) industry is discussed as an important influence on the development of offshore wind projects in Brazil.
Article
United States offshore wind energy development (OWD) is poised to expand significantly in the coming decade as a result of substantial wind resources adjacent to large population and coastal load centers. A significant portion of OWD infrastructure may be sited within or adjacent to parks and protected areas, raising concerns about the potential social, situational, and ecological impacts upon coastal recreation. This novel study investigated the influence of perceived recreation impact and coping behaviors upon coastal recreationists’ general attitudes towards potential OWD at the New Hampshire seacoast. On-site surveys were used to collect data from New Hampshire coastal recreationists from June to September of 2019 (n = 553). The study sample’s perceptions towards the acceptance, support, fit, and recreation impact of OWD at the New Hampshire Seacoast was largely supportive and positive. The overall sample perceived the presence of OWD would not cause them to alter or substitute their recreation activities, behaviors, or experiences. Moreover, structural equation modeling suggests perceived recreation impact and coping behaviors are significant predictors of general attitudes towards OWD. Further, a lack of measurable effect from photo-elicitation priming suggests viewshed impacts and the spatial proximity of OWD siting did not have a significant influence upon general attitudes towards OWD. This research offers critical insights into the theories of stress-coping and landscape fit and calls into question the assumption that situational factors such as OWD act as a stressor on coastal recreation. This study found that OWD will likely have little impact on aggregate coastal recreation visitation, and in some instances, may even amplify visitation. This research demonstrates the importance of evaluating coastal recreationists’ perceptions, behaviors, and attitudes from a social-ecological approach when initiating OWD projects in the United States and abroad.
Article
Coastal reclamation engineering structures are exerting significant isolation effects on dynamics of local species. In this research, a population dynamics model was developed for investigating and analyzing dispersal patterns under isolation of artificial barriers in coastal areas. The proposed model have the following advantages: a) revelation of responses for population dynamics under multiple types of artificial barriers; b) reflection a general link between species predation, competition and density-dependent population growth under pressure of artificial barriers. Three barrier types including dotted distribution (DD), linear distribution (LD) and facet distribution (FD) were analyzed and discussed. As the results, the population decline rate for FD would be 10.22% higher than that for LD. The LD could be conducive to protecting the ecological balance of coastal organisms. Based on satisfying the requirements of coastline protection, LD would be an important reference for coastal engineering design and management in future.
Article
Increasing concerns over climate change have prompted rapid growth of renewable energy over the past few decades, particularly wind energy. However, as the installation of wind farms rises, so will the need for decommissioning and analysis of the environmental impacts associated with decommissioning. This paper investigates how Environmental Impacts Assessments (EIA) identify, estimate and manage potential impacts of decommissioning. EIAs from 12 onshore and offshore windfarms consented between 2009 and 2014 in England and Scotland were analysed and compared. Attributes of these windfarms' Environmental Statements (ES) were scored under six categories: decommissioning in EIA stages, definitions of decommissioning, amount of analysis, depth of analysis, impacts identified, and proactive planning. Onshore windfarms generally tended to investigate the impacts of decommissioning less than offshore windfarms, even those which gained consent in the same year. The investigation of the impact of decommissioning improved for windfarms consented in the latter years of the study period. Across the ESs there was a lack of analysis of potential impacts from decommissioning in their own right: not simply as a reversal of the construction process. The impacts of different end of life scenarios were not analysed in any of the ESs studied. There is evidence to suggest the presence of windfarms, especially offshore, could in some cases be environmentally beneficial for certain species. However, the ecological impact of removing offshore structures at the end of life is unknown and is currently not investigated nor predicted in EIAs. Understanding the potential implications of full or partial removal of marine structures, or alternatives to decommissioning, could ensure that appropriate mitigation is considered at an early stage by both developer and consenting authority. That being said, it is also important to update the assessment of potential impacts over the life of the project as more information on the environment is gathered and end of life plans develop.
Article
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An increasing number of offshore structures are being deployed worldwide to meet the growing demand for renewable energy. Besides energy production, these structures can also provide new artificial habitats to a diversity of fish and crustacean species. This study characterises how concrete mattresses that stabilise the submarine power cable of a tidal energy test site can increase habitat capacity for benthic megafauna. A five-year monitoring, which relied on both visual counts and video-based surveys by divers, revealed that these mattresses provide a suitable habitat for 5 taxa of large crustaceans and fish. In particular, two commercially valuable species, i.e. the edible crab Cancer pagurus and the European lobster Homarus gammarus, showed a constant occupancy of these artificial habitats throughout the course of the project. The shape and the number of shelters available below individual mattresses largely determine potential for colonisation by mobile megafauna. Local physical characteristics of the implantation site (e.g. substratum type, topography, exposition to current etc.) significantly impact amount and type of shelters provided by the concrete mattresses. Thus, to characterise habitat potential of artificial structures, it is not only essential to consider (i) the design of the structures, but also to (ii) account for their interactions with local environmental conditions when deployed on the seafloor.
Thesis
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Les Énergies Marines Renouvelables (EMR) prennent une part de plus en plus importante au niveau français et européen pour répondre aux défis énergétiques et environnementaux actuels. Les structures immergées des EMR, notamment les matelas de béton stabilisant les câbles, présentent les caractéristiques d’un récif artificiel induisant un effet récif. L’augmentation des sites EMR nécessite de développer des méthodes peu chronophages et peu coûteuses de suivi des structures artificielles immergées et des écosystèmes benthiques naturels aux alentours. L’imagerie sous-marine est une méthode pertinente, non destructive, qui permet d'optimiser le rapport entre le temps de plongée (donc le coût) et la quantité de données obtenue. L'objectif de ce stage est d'évaluer l'apport de la vidéo sous-marine pour l'étude de la colonisation par la mégafaune benthique des structures artificielles associées aux projets d'EMR par (i) la comparaison des méthodes de recensement in situ en plongée et d'exploitation de vidéos sous-marines a posteriori pour l'acquisition et le traitement de données qui visent à décrire une communauté de mégafaune benthique associée aux matelas stabilisateurs, et (ii) la caractérisation des préférences d'habitat de certaines espèces cibles de la mégafaune mobile grâce au traitement des vidéos sous-marines. Ce travail met en évidence un biais de la vidéo qui sous-estime les espèces Homard, Tourteau et Congre. Les réponses des espèces étudiées vis à vis des différents types d'habitat potentiel sont hétérogènes et donnent l'intuition qu'une augmentation du nombre de trous fabriqués et calibrés pour chaque espèce augmenterait la capacité d'accueil des structures. Les futures études de conception des EMR devront prendre en compte cet aspect conjointement avec une gestion des activités humaines afin de répondre aux mieux aux questions environnementales actuelles et de demain, en particulier celles de préservation des stocks d'espèces exploitées.
Article
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Given the increasing competition for marine resources, regulatory strategies that benefit multiple stakeholders are increasingly important. Offshore wind power generating facilities are becoming more common in the marine environment and alter the characteristics of the fisheries in the surrounding area. Floating wind turbines can act as fish aggregating devices (FAD), thereby increasing the catchability for some species. Many marine recreational fisheries are open access without effort restrictions; therefore, control of total harvest is difficult. Creating a limited entry recreational fishery and excluding commercial fishing from the area surrounding offshore wind turbines may aid in controlling total harvest and may benefit several important stakeholder groups: (1) recreational and commercial fishermen in terms of higher recreational catch rates and potentially higher overall yield, (2) fisheries managers in terms of more precise control of recreational fisheries harvest, and (3) owners of offshore wind power facilities in terms of reduced risk of damage to infrastructure due to fishing activity. We discuss the compatibility of wind power facilities and fisheries, conditions conducive to this compatibility, and provide an example from a proposed offshore wind power facility in the Adriatic Sea and its potential to affect the fisheries management there, particularly for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus).
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The areal extent of Zostera marina in the archipelago of the Swedish Skagerrak has decreased by 60% over two decades. To investigate the effects of Z. marina loss on the local fish assemblages, the fish fauna was compared between existing seagrass beds and sites where seagrass had vanished. A field study was carried out at four shallow locations in the outer archipelago of the coast in June 2004. Within each location two sites were sampled, one with an existing Z. marina bed and another where Z. marina had disappeared. Fish were sampled semi-quantitatively with a beach seine. Samples were taken during both day and night and captured fish were examined to species, enumerated and measured in the field, and released thereafter. The number of fish species was found to be significantly higher in Z. marina habitats compared to areas where seagrass was missing, and density and biomass of fish were generally lower in areas dominated by bare sediment compared to those in the seagrass habitats. Several species and groups of fishes (i.e., gadoids, labrids, syngnathids) were absent or occurred in low densities at sites where Z. marina was missing. For example, juvenile 0-group cod density was reduced by 96% at sites where Z. marina had disappeared. Such a reduction in recruitment of cod is in the same order of magnitude as the combined effect of seal predation and mortality due to by-catches in the eel fyke-net fishery estimated for the archipelago of the Swedish Skagerrak. Hence, the results clearly indicate a shift in the fish assemblage, including a loss of taxa at the family level as a result of degradation in habitat-forming vegetation.
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High level environmental screening study for offshore wind farm developments – marine habitats and species This report provides an awareness of the environmental issues related to marine habitats and species for developers and regulators of offshore wind farms. The information is also relevant to other offshore renewable energy developments. The marine habitats and species considered are those associated with the seabed, seabirds, and sea mammals. The report concludes that the following key ecological issues should be considered in the environmental assessment of offshore wind farms developments: • likely changes in benthic communities within the affected area and resultant indirect impacts on fish, populations and their predators such as seabirds and sea mammals; • potential changes to the hydrography and wave climate over a wide area, and potential changes to coastal processes and the ecology of the region; • likely effects on spawning or nursery areas of commercially important fish and shellfish species; • likely effects on mating and social behaviour in sea mammals, including migration routes; • likely effects on feeding water birds, seal pupping sites and damage of sensitive or important intertidal sites where cables come onshore; • potential displacement of fish, seabird and sea mammals from preferred habitats; • potential effects on species and habitats of marine natural heritage importance; • potential cumulative effects on seabirds, due to displacement of flight paths, and any mortality from bird strike, especially in sensitive rare or scarce species; • possible effects of electromagnetic fields on feeding behaviour and migration, especially in sharks and rays, and • potential marine conservation and biodiversity benefits of offshore wind farm developments as artificial reefs and 'no-take' zones. The report provides an especially detailed assessment of likely sensitivity of seabed species and habitats in the proposed development areas. Although sensitive to some of the factors created by wind farm developments, they mainly have a high recovery potential. The way in which survey data can be linked to Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN) sensitivity assessments to produce maps of sensitivity to factors is demonstrated. Assessing change to marine habitats and species as a result of wind farm developments has to take account of the natural variability of marine habitats, which might be high especially in shallow sediment biotopes. There are several reasons for such changes but physical disturbance of habitats and short-term climatic variability are likely to be especially important. Wind farm structures themselves will attract marine species including those that are attached to the towers and scour protection, fish that associate with offshore structures, and sea birds (especially sea duck) that may find food and shelter there. Nature conservation designations especially relevant to areas where wind farm might be developed are described and the larger areas are mapped. There are few designated sites that extend offshore to where wind farms are likely to be developed. However, cable routes and landfalls may especially impinge on designated sites. The criteria that have been developed to assess the likely marine natural heritage importance of a location or of the habitats and species that occur there can be applied to survey information to assess whether or not there is anything of particular marine natural heritage importance in a development area. A decision tree is presented that can be used to apply ‘duty of care’ principles to any proposed development. The potential ‘gains’ for the local environment are explored. Wind farms will enhance the biodiversity of areas, could act as refugia for fish, and could be developed in a way that encourages enhancement of fish stocks including shellfish.
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Through a re-colonisation field experiment three main questions were approached: (1) How do different ecological indicators react during the process of recovery? (2) What does grow first during a community succession, biomass or complexity? (3) Can the chosen ecological indicators help in recognising the three proposed forms of growth: biomass, network and information, throughout re-colonisation?The study was carried out in an intertidal rocky community dominated by the algae Corallina elongata. Experimental plots were cleared and macroalgae and fauna were removed. Multivariate analysis was performed to examine the convergence of the disturbed plots with the surrounding community during recovery. Shannon–Wiener Index, Margalef Index, Pielou evenness, Eco-Exergy and Specific Eco-Exergy were applied to characterise the state of the community during the process. Results show that the replacement of species over time happens both with the macroalgae and associated macrofauna community. Species richness increased rather rapidly and species composition was similar in disturbed and undisturbed areas. After 7 months, diversity was consistently higher in the community undertaking recovery. Eco-Exergy and Specific Eco-Exergy provided useful information about the structural development of the community but lacked discriminating power with regard to the informational status of the system. The observations appear to illustrate a case explainable by the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis (IDH). Overall, the characteristics of a systems’ recovery after disturbance appear to be dependent on the spatial scale of the disturbance. If a disturbed area is small when compared to a contiguous non-disturbed one, complexity (information and network) will recover prior to biomass.
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Habitat characteristics of a reef were examined as potential influences on fish assemblage structure, using underwater visual census to estimate numbers and biomass of all fishes visible on 42 benthic transects and making quantitative measurements of 13 variables of the corresponding physical habitat and sessile biota. Fish assemblages in the diverse set of benthic habitats were grouped by detrended correspondence analysis, and associated with six major habitat types. Statistical differences were shown between a number of these habitat types for various ensemble variables of the fish assemblages. Overall, both for complete assemblages and for component major trophic and mobility guilds, these variables tended to have higher values where reef substratum was more structurally or topographically complex, and closer to reef edges. When study sites were separately divided into five depth strata, the deeper strata tended to have statistically higher values of ensemble variables for the fish assemblages. Patterns with depth varied among the various trophic and mobility guilds. Multiple linear regression models indicated that for the complete assemblages and for most trophic and mobility guilds, a large part of the variability for most ensemble variables was explained by measures of holes in the substratum, with important contributions from measured substratum rugosity and depth. A strong linear relationship found by regression of mean fish length on mean volume of holes in the reef surface emphasized the importance of shelter for fish assemblages. Results of this study may have practical applications in designing reserve areas as well as theoretical value in helping to explain the organization of reef fish assemblages.
Book
Marine sediments provide the largest habitat on planet earth, yet knowledge of the structure and function of their flora and fauna continues to be poorly described in current textbooks. This concise, readable introduction to benthic ecology builds upon the strengths of the previous edition but has been thoroughly revised throughout to incorporate the new technologies and methods that have allowed a rapid and ongoing development of the field. It explores the relationship between community structure and function, and the selection of global examples ensures an international appeal and relevance. The economic value of marine sediments increases daily, reflected in the text with a new emphasis on the effects of pollution and fisheries and the management of marine sediments. This accessible textbook is suitable for both advanced undergraduate and graduate students who have had a general ecology course, but no further training in benthic ecology. It will also be of relevance and use to professional researchers and consultants in marine ecology and environmental science who seek a compact but comprehensive introduction to benthic ecology.
Chapter
IntroductionObjectives Methodology and scientifi c backgroundFinal comments
Article
Shedding light on the ability of benthic artificial reef (AR) communities to resemble those of a natural reef (NR) is of great importance if we are to harness ARs as tools for rehabilitation and restoration of degraded marine habitats. Studying recruitment processes to experimental settlement plates attached to ARs and NRs reveal the factors that shape community structure at the two reef types, and determine the ability of an AR to support communities similar to those found in adjacent natural habitats. In this study, conducted in Eilat (Red Sea), we used settlement plates to test the hypothesis that differences in benthic communities between ARs and NRs are derived from differential recruitment processes. A monitoring period of 18 months revealed great differences in the recruitment of corals and other benthic communities between the studied ARs and adjacent NRs. The ARs were either made of PVC or metal and 10–17 years old when the study commenced. The recruitment of soft corals reflected the species assemblage found in the area, consisting mainly of the family Nephtheidae and Xeniidae, species, while that of stony corals was mostly determined by the life history traits of the recruited taxa, e.g., the opportunistic nature of the family Pocilloporidae. Benthic organisms, mainly filter feeders like bryozoans, bivalves, sponges and tunicates, were more abundant at the ARs than at the NRs, mainly on the underside of the plates. We suggest that this differential recruitment resulted from a synergistic effect of abiotic and biotic factors, including current regime, sedimentation load and larval settlement preferences, which subsequently differentiated the composition of the benthic communities at the ARs and NRs. Thus, in order to construct an AR for restoration purposes, it must offer similar structural features to those found in the natural surrounding, leading to recruitment of local taxa. However, if the AR and NR will differ structurally, the composition of recruits will also differ and eventually the communities at the two reef types will become distinct, hereby increasing the species diversity in the area.
Article
The fish fauna of Thalassia testudinum (König) seagrass beds was studied at two sites in the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Bay (Guadeloupe, French West Indies). The first seagrass bed was located near a coral reef and the second was near coastal mangroves. Both habitats were sampled during day and night, using a purse-seine and a trap net. A total of 98 species belonging to 36 families were observed. Distance-based redundancy analyses revealed two site-specific assemblages of fishes. Diel assemblage shifts were more pronounced in the seagrass beds near coral reefs than in those near mangroves, due to the existence of nocturnal trophic incursions of coral reef fishes into seagrass beds. First-order carnivores dominated the trophic structure of the fish assemblages during both day and night. At night, Haemulidae, Holocentridae and Apogonidae took the place of Labridae, Chaetodontidae and Mullidae present by day near the reef. This switch did not occur near the coast where the exchanges between seagrass beds and mangrove appear to be less important than with the reef ecosystem. Thus, it appears that the adjacent seascape habitat setting affects the intensity in diel variability of the seagrass bed fish community.
Article
Photovoltaics and renewable energies are growing at a much faster pace than the rest of the economy in Europe and worldwide. This and the dramatic oil price increases in 2005 have led to a remarkable re-evaluation of the renewable energy sector by politics and financing institutions. Despite the fact that there are still discrepancies between the European Union and the USA, as to how to deal with climate change, renewable energies will play an important role for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the worldwide introduction of tradable Green Certificates. Apart from the electricity sector, renewable energy sources for the generation of heat and the use of environment friendly biofuels for the transport sector will become more and more important in the future.
Article
This review presents recent concepts, understanding and experience of the restoration, recovery and human-mediated modification of estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems. It shows that these can be divided into four categories: natural recovery from a natural or anthropogenic change (whether adverse or otherwise); anthropogenic interventions in response to a degraded or anthropogenically changed environment; anthropogenic responses to a single stressor; and habitat enhancement or creation. A conceptual framework for restoration and recovery of marine marginal and semi-enclosed areas is presented after exploring and refining the plethora of terms used in restoration science and management. Examples of management action are given including managed realignment and the restoration of docks, biogenic reefs, saltmarsh, seagrass, beaches and upper estuarine water quality. We emphasise that although recovery techniques are worthwhile if they can be carried out, they rarely (if ever) fully replace lost habitat. Moreover, while they may have some success in marginal or semi-enclosed areas such as coastal bays, estuaries and fringing habitats, they are less relevant to open coastal and marine habitats. Therefore the best option available in the latter can only be to remove the stressor, as the cause of any change, to prevent other stressors from operating and to allow the conditions suitable for natural recovery. This review emphasises that whereas some ecological concepts related to restoration are well understood, for example, the nature of ecosystem structure and functioning, others such as carrying capacity, resilience and ecosystem goods and services are still poorly quantified for the marine and estuarine environments. The linking between these ecological concepts and the management framework is also relatively recent but is required to give a holistic approach to understanding, managing and manipulating these environments.
Article
The paper provides an overview of the historical development of wind energy technology and discusses the current world-wide status of grid-connected as well as stand-alone wind power generation. During the last decade of the twentieth century, grid-connected world-wide wind capacity has doubled approximately every three years. Due to the fast market development, wind turbine technology has experienced an important evolution over time. An overview of the different design approaches is given and issues like power grid integration, economics, environmental impact and special system applications, such as offshore wind energy, are discussed. Due to the complexity of the wind energy technology, however, this paper mainly aims at presenting a brief overview of the relevant wind turbine and wind project issues. Therefore, detailed information to further readings and related organisations is provided. This paper is an updated version of the article ‘Wind Energy Technology and Current Status: A Review’, published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 4/2000, pp. 315–374. This update was requested by Elsevier due to the large interest in wind power.
Article
To date, the natural substratum preferences of early benthic phase (EBP) European lobsters (Homarus gammarus) remain largely unknown. This study utilised a large scale mesocosm experiment to determine if the animal favours cobble ground, similar to its American counterpart (Homarus americanus), or has other substratum preferences. Postlarvae were provided with the choice of settling on four natural substrata: sand, coralline algae, mussel shell and cobble. Over a nine month period, the number and size of juveniles on each substratum was recorded, with loss of chelipeds used as an indication of social interaction. After a 30 day period, a non-random distribution of lobsters was observed on the four substrata. Juveniles were more abundant in substrata which provided pre-existing shelter in the form of interstitial spaces, i.e. cobble and mussel shell, than in sand or coralline algae. The survival of individuals from postlarvae to 30 day old juveniles ranged from 5 to 14% with surviving benthic recruits showing a clear mode at 6-8 mm carapace length (CL) in size distribution. The density of lobsters per m(2) of cobble remained relatively constant (18/m(2)) throughout the study period while the density of juveniles on mussel shell decreased significantly (35 to 5/m(2)). The size distribution of lobsters on each substratum also varied with time. By the conclusion of the trial, lobsters found in mussel shell had a mode of 8-10 mm CL within a range of 6-14 mm CL while those in cobble had a mode of 10-12 mm CL within a range of 8-24 mm CL. Overall, the results underline the importance of shelter-providing habitat such as cobble or crevice-type substrata to EBP European lobsters. They also confirm that for a shelter-dwelling animal such as a lobster, the physical structure of the habitat is a key factor in determining both the size and number of its inhabitants.
Article
The European Union has adopted several environmental directives, strategies, recommendations, and agreements that require a shift from local- or regional-based regulations to more ecosystem-based, holistic environmental management. Over the next decade, environmental management in Europe is likely to focus more on biological and ecological conditions rather than physical and chemical conditions, with ecosystem health at the center of regulation and management decision making. Successful implementation of this new ecosystem management and strategic assessment process in Europe will require the integration of regulatory and technical information and extensive collaboration from among European Union member countries, between agencies, and across disciplines to an unprecedented degree. It will also require extensive efforts to adapt current systems of environmental assessment and management to the basin and ecosystem level, across media and habitats, and considering a much broader set of impacts on ecosystem status than is currently addressed in most risk assessments. This will require the understanding, integration, and communication of economic, ecological, hydrological, and other processes across many spatial and temporal scales. This article discusses these challenges and describes some of the research initiatives that will help achieve integrated ecosystem management in Europe.
Article
The adoption of the proposed European Marine Strategy Directive is an opportunity for a comprehensive policy for protecting, improving and sustainably using Europe's environmentally degraded seas. It calls for an ecosystem-based approach to management where humans are regarded as a key system component. Although the proposed wording has been the subject of fierce debate, the central policy goal remains achieving "Good Environmental Status". The interpretation of "good" is key to implementation and relates to human values and worldviews. We demonstrate how these vary widely across Europe. Solution of fundamental considerations such as the assignation of reference states, the balance between precautionary and evidence-based action, the degree of subsidiarity, and conservation strategies including marine protected areas, will ultimately depend upon public understanding, involvement in and support for the Directive. The social element, critical to effective adaptive management, requires greater attention within the context of a regional seas geographical framework.
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Connor DW, Allen JH, Golding N, Howell KL, Lieberknecht LM, Northern KO, Reker JB. The Marine Habitat Classifi cation for Britain and Ireland Version 04.05 JNCC (internet version). [Online]. Available: http://www.jncc.gov. uk/MarineHabitatClassifi cation. (Accessed 4 August 2007)
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Love MS, Schroeder DM. Ecological performance of OCS platforms as fi sh habitat off California. Marine Science Institute, University of California. MMS Study 2004-005. MMS Co-operative Agreement Number 1435-01-03-CA72694, 2006.
Invasion of the parchment worm
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Anthoni F. (2006) Invasion of the parchment worm. [Online]. Available: http://www.seafriends.org.nz/indepth/invasion. htm. (Accessed 24 August 2007)
The potential effects of offshore wind power facilities on fi sh and fi sh habitat. Algonquin Fisheries Assessment Unit, Ontario Ministry of Fisheries Resources
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Forward G. (2005) The potential effects of offshore wind power facilities on fi sh and fi sh habitat. Algonquin Fisheries Assessment Unit, Ontario Ministry of Fisheries Resources. [Online]. Available: http://ozone.scholarsportal.info. (Accessed 18 August 2007)
Lincs offshore wind farm environmental statement-non-technical summary
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Centrica Energy. Lincs offshore wind farm environmental statement-non-technical summary. [Online]. Available: http://www.centrica.co.uk/renewables. (Accessed 30 August 2007)
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Ecological performance of OCS platforms as fish habitat off California
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Love MS, Schroeder DM. Ecological performance of OCS platforms as fi sh habitat off California. Marine Science Institute, University of California. MMS Study 2004-005. MMS Co-operative Agreement Number 1435-01-03-CA-72694, 2006.
European Environmental Management: Moving to an Ecosystem Approach
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