Fouling Assemblages on Offshore Wind Power Plants and Adjacent Substrata

Journal Article

Title: Fouling Assemblages on Offshore Wind Power Plants and Adjacent Substrata
Publication Date:
September 10, 2008
Journal: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume: 79
Issue: 3
Pages: 459-466
Publisher: Elsevier

Document Access

Website: External Link


Wilhelmsson, D.; Malm, T. (2008). Fouling Assemblages on Offshore Wind Power Plants and Adjacent Substrata. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 79(3), 459-466.

A significant expansion of offshore wind power is expected in the near future, with thousands of turbines in coastal waters, and various aspects of how this may influence the coastal ecology including disturbance effects from noise, shadows, electromagnetic fields, and changed hydrological conditions are accordingly of concern. Further, wind power plants constitute habitats for a number of organisms, and may locally alter assemblage composition and biomass of invertebrates, algae and fish. In this study, fouling assemblages on offshore wind turbines were compared to adjacent hard substrate. Influences of the structures on the seabed were also investigated. The turbines differed significantly from adjacent boulders in terms of assemblage composition of epibiota and motile invertebrates. Species number and Shannon–Wiener diversity were, also, significantly lower on the wind power plants. It was also indicated that the turbines might have affected assemblages of invertebrates and algae on adjacent boulders. Off shore wind power plant offer atypical substrates for fouling assemblages in terms of orientation, depth range, structure, and surface texture. Some potential ecological implications of the addition of these non-natural habitats for coastal ecology are discussed.

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