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Benthic biodiversity on old platforms, young wind farms, and rocky reefs
Coolen, J.W.P.; van der Weide, B.; Cuperus, J.; Blomberg, M.; van Moorsel, G.W.N.M.; Faasse, M.A.; Bos, O.G.; Degraer, S.; Lindeboom, H.J. (2020). Benthic biodiversity on old platforms, young wind farms, and rocky reefs. ICES J. Mar. Sci./J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 77(3): 1250-1265.
In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. Academic Press: London. ISSN 1054-3139; e-ISSN 1095-9289, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Benthos; marine growth; platforms; reef; species richness; wind farm

Authors  Top 
  • Coolen, J.W.P.
  • van der Weide, B.
  • Cuperus, J.
  • Blomberg, M.
  • van Moorsel, G.W.N.M., more
  • Faasse, M.A., more

    The introduction of artificial hard substrates in an area dominated by a sandy seabed increases habitat available to epifouling organisms. To investigate this, samples were taken on old offshore oil and gas platforms, and data were compared with data of a young wind farm and a natural reef. Depth, sampling date, abundance of Mytilus edulis, Psammechinus miliaris, Metridium dianthus, and the presence of Tubulariidae and substrate (rock or steel) all correlated with species richness. Multivariate analysis showed a large overlap in communities on steel and rock and between the wind farm and platforms. The community changed over a gradient from deep rocks to shallow steel substrate, but no strong community differentiation was observed. Deep steel was more similar to natural rocks than shallow steel. When an artificial reef is intended to be colonized by communities similar to those on a natural reef, its structure should resemble a natural reef as much as possible.

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