The increased presence of offshore wind farms has sparked a need for environmental study of their effects on the marine environment. This study focuses on wind turbines potential effects on the habitats of blue mussels. It looks at the growth and feedbacks of blue mussels in natural beds and turbine foundations located in a shallow coastal ecosystem.
The study was conducted using a dynamic energy budget model with a small-scale 3D hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model. The results showed that blue mussels achieved a 7-18 time higher biomass when located higher up in the water column. The reason is that the mussels received an enhanced food supply at the higher level. The high biomass also increased biological activity and changed ecosystems. Thus, offshore wind farms can function well as artificial reefs, but it depends on how blue mussels interact with their environment.