Incorporating Data Uncertainty when Estimating Potential Vulnerability of Scottish Seabirds to Marine Renewable Energy Developments

Journal Article

Title: Incorporating Data Uncertainty when Estimating Potential Vulnerability of Scottish Seabirds to Marine Renewable Energy Developments
Publication Date:
August 01, 2016
Journal: Marine Policy
Volume: 70
Pages: 108-113
Publisher: Elsevier
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Wade, H.; Masden, E.; Jackson, A.; Furness, R. (2016). Incorporating Data Uncertainty when Estimating Potential Vulnerability of Scottish Seabirds to Marine Renewable Energy Developments. Marine Policy, 70, 108-113.
Abstract: 

The effects of marine renewable energy developments (MREDs) on seabirds are uncertain because of the relative infancy of the industry. This uncertainty can delay the consenting process as regulators adopt a precautionary approach. This study uses novel methods to demonstrate uncertainty in two indices that ranked the vulnerability of seabird populations to MREDs. The study also consolidates recently available data with information from the two indices to consider developments in our understanding of how seabirds respond to MREDs and to present up-to-date vulnerability predictions. Results indicate greater uncertainty in data regarding displacement caused by vessels and/or helicopters, and use of tidal races by seabirds, than in data regarding the percentage of flight overlapping with wind turbine blades and the level of displacement caused by structures. Results also indicate varying uncertainty among species. Overall vulnerability rankings remained broadly the same, with some minor changes. The uncertainty indices highlight areas lacking data, identify robust predictions, and indicate where particular caution in interpreting vulnerability indices should be adopted. They are a useful tool to inform impact assessment and identify strategic research and monitoring priorities.

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