Offshore wave energy conversion is expected to develop, thus contributing to an increase in submerged constructions on the seabed. An essential concern related to the deployment of wave energy converters (WECs) is their possible impact on the surrounding soft-bottom habitats. In this study, the macrofaunal assemblages in the seabed around the wave energy converters in the Lysekil research site on the Swedish west coast and a neighbouring reference site were examined yearly during a period of 5 years (2004-2008). Macrobenthic communities living in the WECs' surrounding seabed were mainly composed by organisms typical for the area and depth off the Swedish west coast. At both sites the number of individuals, number of species and biodiversity were low, and were mostly small, juvenile organisms. The species assemblages during the first years of sampling were significantly different between the Lysekil research site and the nearby reference site with higher species abundance in the research site. The high contribution to dissimilarities was mostly due to polychaetes. Sparse macrofaunal densities can be explained by strong hydrodynamic forces and/or earlier trawling. WECs may alter the surrounding seabed with an accumulation of organic matter inside the research area. This indicates that the deployment of WECs in the Lysekil research site tends to have rather minor direct ecological impacts on the surrounding benthic community relative to the natural high variances.
Effects Of Wave Energy Converters On The Surrounding Soft-bottom Macrofauna (west Coast Of Sweden)
Title: Effects Of Wave Energy Converters On The Surrounding Soft-bottom Macrofauna (west Coast Of Sweden)
June 01, 2010
Journal: Marine Environmental Resources
Langhamer, O. (2010). Effects Of Wave Energy Converters On The Surrounding Soft-bottom Macrofauna (west Coast Of Sweden). Marine Environmental Resources, 69(5), 374-381.