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Epibenthic colonization of concrete and steel pilingsin a cold-temperate embayment: a feld experiment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2009 (English)In: Helgoland Marine Research, ISSN 1438-387X, E-ISSN 1438-3888, Vol. 63, no 3, 249-260 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With large-scale development of offshore wind farms, vertical structures are becoming more common in open water areas. To examine how vertical structures of different materials may be colonized by epibenthic organisms, an experiment was carried out using steel and concrete pilings constructed to resemble those commonly used in wind farm constructions as well as in bridges, jetties and oil platforms. The early recruitment and succession of the epibenthic communities were sampled once a month for the first 5 months and then again after 1 year. Further, the fish assemblages associated with the pillars were sampled and compared to natural areas. The main epibenthic species groups, in terms of coverage, diVered between the two materials at five out of six sampling occasions. Dominant organisms on steel pillars were the barnacle Balanus improvisus,the calcareous tubeworm Pomatoceros triqueter and the tunicate Ciona intestinalis. On the concrete pillars, the hydroid Laomedea sp. and the tunicates Corella parallelogramma and Ascidiella spp. dominated. However, there was no different in coverage at different heights on the pillars or in biomass and species abundance at different directions (north-east or south-west) 5 months after submergence. Fish showed overall higher abundances and species numbers on the pillars (but no difference between steel and concrete)compared to the surrounding soft bottom habitats but not compared to natural vertical rock walls. Two species were attracted to the pillars, indicating a reef effect; Gobiusculus flavescens and Ctenolabrus rupestris. The bottom-dwelling gobies, Pomatoschistus spp., did not show such preferences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 63, no 3, 249-260 p.
Keyword [en]
Artifcial reef, Disturbance, Habitat structure, Reef effect, Renwable energy, Tunicates
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30684DOI: 10.1007/s10152-009-0156-9ISI: 000269013800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-30684DiVA: diva2:273618
Projects
Downvind
Available from: 2009-10-22 Created: 2009-10-22 Last updated: 2011-01-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aspects of offshore renewable energy and the alterations of marine habitats
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aspects of offshore renewable energy and the alterations of marine habitats
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several Western European countries are planning for a massive offshore renewable energy (i.e. wind and wave energy) development (ORED) along the European Atlantic coast and in the Baltic Sea. Acknowledging the scale of ORED, there is an increasing interest in the opportunities offered by the fishery closures and the addition of artificial hard substrata. This is in tandem with uncertainties on positive and negative effects on benthic assemblages and specific species of this large-scale deployment of artificial reefs.

This thesis focuses on the artificial reef effects of ORED, dealing with benthic assemblages on and in the vicinity of wind- and wave power foundations. Field surveys within offshore wind- and wave farms as well as targeted field experiments were conducted. Results suggest that wind- and wave power foundations can positively affect local abundances and diversity of several species of fish and decapods. Reef profile up to 1 m above the seabed may enhance benthic fish numbers. Structural complexity in the form of single-entrance holes positively affected numbers of edible crab (Cancer pagurus), but no effect on fish was shown. Enhanced structural complexity may, moreover, adversely affect abundances of some species through an induced predation pressure. Micro-habitat use by fish and lobsters (Homarus gammarus) encountered was described, and preferences of the edible crab were shown.

Filtrating organisms (i.e. blue mussels Mytilus spp. and barnacles Balanus spp.) seem to be particularly favoured by the conditions on offshore energy installations. The material and orientation of the substrate influenced colonisation patterns of epibiota. Moreover, wind turbines may alter the habitat composition on adjacent seabeds.

ORED could induce local ecological changes and put areas and species of conservation interest at risk. If well planned and co-ordinated, on the other hand, ORED could even be beneficial to the subsurface marine environment in several aspects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2009. 56 p.
Keyword
renewable energy, biodiversity, wave power, wind power, disturbance, fish, fouling organisms, artificial reefs
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31157 (URN)978-91-7155-970-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-12-11, hörsal 11, hus F, Universitetsvägen 10 F, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-11-19 Created: 2009-11-06 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved
2. Offshore wind farms - ecological effects of noise and habitat alteration on fish
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Offshore wind farms - ecological effects of noise and habitat alteration on fish
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are large gaps in our understanding how fish populations are affected by the anthropogenic noise and the alteration of habitat caused by the construction and operation of offshore wind farms. These issues are of great importance as the construction of offshore wind farms will increase all over the world in the near future. This thesis studies these effects with a focus on fish. The wind turbine foundations function as artificial reefs and are colonized by invertebrates, algae and fish. The epibenthic assemblages are influenced by factors such as hydrographical parameters, time of submergence, distance to natural hard bottom, material and texture (PAPER I, II). Once an epibenthic assemblage has been developed, fish utilize it for different ecosystem services such as food, shelter, and spawning and nursery area. Benthic and semi-pelagic species show a stronger response to the introduced foundation than pelagic species, as it is the bottom habitat that has mainly been altered (PAPER I, II). Pelagic species could be positively affected by the increased food availability - but it takes time and the effect is local.

Construction noise like pile driving creates high levels of sound pressure and acoustic particle motion in the water and seabed. This noise induces behavioural reactions in cod (Gadus morhua) and sole (Solea solea). These reactions could occur up to tens of kilometres distance from the source (PAPER III). During power production, the wind turbines generate a broadband noise with a few dominating tones (PAPER IV, V), which are detectable by sound pressure sensitive fish at a distance of several kilometres even though intense shipping occurs in the area. Motion sensitive species will only detect the turbine noise at around a ten meter distance. Sound levels are only high enough to possibly cause a behavioural reaction within meters from a turbine (PAPER IV, V).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2011. 48 p.
Keyword
renewable energy, fish population, artificial reef, attraction vs. production, habitat structure, reef effect, FAD, bioacoustics, noise disturbance, fish behaviour, detection range, threshold, masking, fish communication and hearing
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54049 (URN)978-91-7447-172-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-25, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3, 4 and 5: Manuscripts.Available from: 2011-02-03 Created: 2011-01-25 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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