Changes in benthos at alpha ventus – lessons learnt from monitoring evaluation


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Jennifer.Dannheim [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The mandatory monitoring concept of offshore wind farm effects on the marine environment (StUK) prescribes extensive investigations on soft-bottom benthos and fouling assemblages of the wind turbine foundations. StUK and studies beyond StUK in the test field alpha ventus (North Sea, German Bight) were carried out to evaluate the German monitoring concept. Our investigations show a massive colonization of turbine foundations by fouling organisms and an aggregation of megafauna around constructions, both resulting in a local increase in biomass and species richness of the benthos, but no direct turbine effects on the soft-bottom benthos at the scale investigated. Temporal variations of sediment conditions and benthic communities were similar inside and outside the wind farm area. During the alpha ventus case-study, limits of benthic ecological studies according to StUK became evident and recommendations were elaborated for future improvements. Beyond our field studies, an aggregated database of StUK data from approved wind farms and data from scientific projects serves as the base for large scale ecosystem analysis. Current efforts are being made to quantitatively estimate benthic species distributions on a transnational scale, a prerequisite for cross-border spatial planning. Further, we strive to estimate species or group specific “natural corridors of variation” to discriminate anthropogenic effects from natural background variability.



Item Type
Conference (Talk)
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Primary Division
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Peer revision
Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Event Details
WinMon.BE conference, Environmental impact of offshore wind farms "Learning from the past to optimise future monitoring programmes", 26 Nov 2013 - 28 Nov 2013, Brussels, Belgium.
Eprint ID
34539
Cite as
Dannheim, J. , Gutow, L. , Teschke, K. , Holstein, J. , Schmidt, A. , Krone, R. and Gusky, M. (2013): Changes in benthos at alpha ventus – lessons learnt from monitoring evaluation , WinMon.BE conference, Environmental impact of offshore wind farms "Learning from the past to optimise future monitoring programmes", Brussels, Belgium, 26 November 2013 - 28 November 2013 .


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