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Rapid macrobenthic recovery after dredging activities in an offshore wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea

Delphine Coates (UGent) , Gert Van Hoey, Liesbet Colson (UGent) , Magda Vincx (UGent) and Jan Vanaverbeke (UGent)
(2015) HYDROBIOLOGIA. 756(1). p.3-18
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Abstract
The development of offshore wind farms (OWFs) in the North Sea has increased considerably to create alternatives for fossil fuel energy. Activities related to the construction of OWFs, in particular gravity-based foundations (GBFs), are mainly associated to dredging, causing direct effects to the macrofauna in the seabed. The sediment characteristics and macrofauna were studied before and after construction (2005-2010) of six GBFs in an OWF in the Belgian part of the North Sea. We distinguished natural from anthropogenic-related fluctuations in macrofaunal communities by analysing a long-term dataset (1980-2012). The analysed sandbanks are characterised by sandy substrates and a community with low species abundance (180-812 ind m(-2)) and diversity (6-15 species per 0.1 m(2)). Strong temporal variations were observed possibly related to variable weather conditions in the area. Significant differences in community composition were observed due to the installation of six GBFs in the construction year of the OWF followed by a rapid recovery a year later and confirmed by the benthic ecosystem quality index BEQI. Even though the construction of GBFs creates a physical disturbance to the seabed, the macrobenthic community of these sediments have illustrated a fast recovery potential.
Keywords
Wind power, Macrobenthic communities, Temporal variability, North Sea, Benthic indicators, Dredging, LONG-TERM CHANGES, MACROFAUNA COMMUNITIES, AGGREGATE EXTRACTION, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, GRAVEL EXTRACTION, SAND EXTRACTION, REGIME SHIFTS, FRENCH COAST, MARINE SAND, IMPACT

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Citation

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Chicago
Coates, Delphine, Gert Van Hoey, Liesbet Colson, Magda Vincx, and Jan Vanaverbeke. 2015. “Rapid Macrobenthic Recovery After Dredging Activities in an Offshore Wind Farm in the Belgian Part of the North Sea.” Ed. Steven Degraer, Jennifer Dannheim, Andrew B Gill, Han Lindeboom, and Dan Wilhelmsson. Hydrobiologia 756 (1): 3–18.
APA
Coates, D., Van Hoey, G., Colson, L., Vincx, M., & Vanaverbeke, J. (2015). Rapid macrobenthic recovery after dredging activities in an offshore wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea. (S. Degraer, J. Dannheim, A. B. Gill, H. Lindeboom, & D. Wilhelmsson, Eds.)HYDROBIOLOGIA, 756(1), 3–18. Presented at the International scientific WinMon.BE 2013 conference on Environmental Impacts of Offshore Wind Farms.
Vancouver
1.
Coates D, Van Hoey G, Colson L, Vincx M, Vanaverbeke J. Rapid macrobenthic recovery after dredging activities in an offshore wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Degraer S, Dannheim J, Gill AB, Lindeboom H, Wilhelmsson D, editors. HYDROBIOLOGIA. 2015;756(1):3–18.
MLA
Coates, Delphine, Gert Van Hoey, Liesbet Colson, et al. “Rapid Macrobenthic Recovery After Dredging Activities in an Offshore Wind Farm in the Belgian Part of the North Sea.” Ed. Steven Degraer et al. HYDROBIOLOGIA 756.1 (2015): 3–18. Print.
@article{5950709,
  abstract     = {The development of offshore wind farms (OWFs) in the North Sea has increased considerably to create alternatives for fossil fuel energy. Activities related to the construction of OWFs, in particular gravity-based foundations (GBFs), are mainly associated to dredging, causing direct effects to the macrofauna in the seabed. The sediment characteristics and macrofauna were studied before and after construction (2005-2010) of six GBFs in an OWF in the Belgian part of the North Sea. We distinguished natural from anthropogenic-related fluctuations in macrofaunal communities by analysing a long-term dataset (1980-2012). The analysed sandbanks are characterised by sandy substrates and a community with low species abundance (180-812 ind m(-2)) and diversity (6-15 species per 0.1 m(2)). Strong temporal variations were observed possibly related to variable weather conditions in the area. Significant differences in community composition were observed due to the installation of six GBFs in the construction year of the OWF followed by a rapid recovery a year later and confirmed by the benthic ecosystem quality index BEQI. Even though the construction of GBFs creates a physical disturbance to the seabed, the macrobenthic community of these sediments have illustrated a fast recovery potential.},
  author       = {Coates, Delphine and Van Hoey, Gert and Colson, Liesbet and Vincx, Magda and Vanaverbeke, Jan},
  editor       = {Degraer, Steven and Dannheim, Jennifer and Gill, Andrew B and Lindeboom, Han and Wilhelmsson, Dan},
  issn         = {0018-8158},
  journal      = {HYDROBIOLOGIA},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Brussels, Belgium},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--18},
  title        = {Rapid macrobenthic recovery after dredging activities in an offshore wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10750-014-2103-2},
  volume       = {756},
  year         = {2015},
}

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