Developing artificial collectors for growth monitoring of biofouling communities in the southern German Bight – North Sea

rike.dueffert [ at ]


With regard to the current climate crisis, offshore wind energy in particular is developing into an increasingly important sustainable resource for energy production in order to replace fossil fuels in the future. The foundations of the individual wind turbines create a reef effect and provide a habitat for organisms that would not naturally occur on the predominantly sandy seabed of the southern North Sea. Through artificial hard substrates, settlement and development processes of so-called biofouling organisms can be observed and documented. During the construction of such plants, load coefficients caused by fouling organisms have to be taken into account. Until now, these load coefficients have always been estimated, since no suitable studies exist to calculate the values accurately. Therefore, within the EnviSim4Mare project, a seawater wave and flow channel is constructed for the first time in Germany to perform measurements on suitable test bodies with fouling. To ensure standardized sampling for the evaluation of fouling communities, two artificial hard substrates were developed and deposited at an exposed offshore (Nordergründe wind farm) and sheltered site (north-east harbour of Helgoland). This bachelor thesis presents and discusses the compiled results of the development (with consideration of different environmental conditions) deployment, handling during sampling as well as the developed emergent communities of the two systems. A sampling period of two years (May to December 2021 and April to October 2022) was considered. Monitoring under real conditions of biofouling communities will provide information on the seasonal and spatial settlement processes as well as composition of individual taxa and show which organisms exhibit dominant characteristics. Three habitats were distinguished between the two sites: Nordergründe sublittoral (underwater), Helgoland eulittoral (intertidal) and Helgoland sublittoral. Through morpho taxonomic analyses three biofouling communities were identified, which differ mainly in their location and are characterized by specific abiotic factors.

Item Type
Thesis (Bachelor)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
Cite as
Düffert, R. (2022): Developing artificial collectors for growth monitoring of biofouling communities in the southern German Bight – North Sea / B. Buck and W. Isbert (editors) Bachelor thesis,

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email

Edit Item Edit Item