Ecological Research at the Offshore Windfarm Alpha Ventus: Challenges, Results and Perspectives


Title: Ecological Research at the Offshore Windfarm Alpha Ventus: Challenges, Results and Perspectives
Publication Date:
January 01, 2014
Pages: 201
Publisher: Springer

Document Access

Website: External Link


Beiersdorf, A.; Radecke, A. (2014). Ecological Research at the Offshore Windfarm Alpha Ventus: Challenges, Results and Perspectives Springer.

At present and over the next few years, large-scale windfarms are being installed far off the coast of Germany in the North and Baltic Sea, making a major contribution to electricity generation from renewable energy sources. One of the German government’s aims is to ensure the environmentally sound and sustainable development of offshore wind energy. Germany’s first offshore test site, alpha ventus, was therefore accompanied from the construction phase to the first years of operation by an intensive environmental research programme, the StUKplus project, financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and coordinated by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. Marine and ecological aspects have been researched there for more than five years to improve the level of knowledge about the ecological impacts of offshore windfarms.


This book provides a broad, richly illustrated overview of applied and new research methods and monitoring techniques. It summarises the key research findings on the impacts on benthic communities, fish, marine mammals and birds, also taking into account underwater sound and sediment measurements. Interpreting the results in the sense of lessons learned, new challenges and perspectives are discussed for future sustainable offshore development in German waters.




  1. Current situation of offshore development in Germany and environmentally sound expansion of offshore wind energy (Simone van Leusen) - Pages 3-9
  2. The Spatial Offshore Grid Plan for the German Exclusive Economic Zone (Annika Koch) - Pages 11-14

  3. The alpha ventus offshore test site (Wilfried Hube ) - Pages 15-23

  4. The RAVE research initiative: A successful collaborative research, development and demonstration programme (Eva Otto, Michael Durstewitz, Bernhard Lange) - Pages 25-29

  5. Accompanying ecological research at alpha ventus: The StUKplus research project (Anika Beiersdorf) - Pages 31-37

  6. Conservation features: Sensitive species and habitats in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (Jochen Krause) - Pages 39-44

  7. Challenges, results and perspectives: An interview with Christian Dahlke (Anika Beiersdorf, Christian Dahlke) - Pages 45-49

Main Section

  1. Oceanographic and geological research at alpha ventus: Instruments for predicting environmental conditions and interactions (Bettina Kühn, Anja Schneehorst) - Pages 53-65
  2. Rapid increase of benthic structural and functional diversity at the alpha ventus offshore test site (Lars Gutow, Katharina Teschke, Andreas Schmidt, Jennifer Dannheim, Roland Krone, Manuela Gusky) - Pages 67-81

  3. Effects of the alpha ventus offshore test site on pelagic fish (Sören Krägefsky) - Pages 83-94

  4. Effects of the alpha ventus offshore test site on distribution patterns, behaviour and flight heights of seabirds (Bettina Mendel, Jana Kotzerka, Julia Sommerfeld, Henriette Schwemmer, Nicole Sonntag, Stefan Garthe) - Pages 95-110

  5. Of birds, blades and barriers: Detecting and analysing mass migration events at alpha ventus (Reinhold Hill, Katrin Hill, Ralf Aumüller, Axel Schulz, Tobias Dittmann, Christoph Kulemeyer et al.) - Pages 111-131

  6. Marine mammals and windfarms: Effects of alpha ventus on harbour porpoises (Michael Dähne, Verena Peschko, Anita Gilles, Klaus Lucke, Sven Adler, Katrin Ronnenberg et al.) - Pages 133-149

  7. Marine habitat modelling for harbour porpoises in the German Bight (Henrik Skov, Stefan Heinänen, Dennis Arreborg-Hansen, Florian Ladage, Bastian Schlenz, Ramünas Zydelis et al.) - Pages 151-169

  8. Underwater construction and operational noise at alpha ventus (Klaus Betke) - Pages 171-180

  9. Noise mitigation systems and low-noise installation technologies (Tobias Verfuß) - Pages 181-191

  10. Cumulative impacts of offshore windfarms (Hans-Peter Damian, Thomas Merck) - Pages 193-198

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