Characterisation of the biofouling community on a floating wave energy device

Christopher R. Nall, Marie Lise Schläppy, Andrew J. Guerin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wave energy devices are novel structures in the marine environment and, as such, provide a unique habitat for biofouling organisms. In this study, destructive scrape samples and photoquadrats were used to characterise the temperate epibenthic community present on prototypes of the Pelamis wave energy converter. The biofouling observed was extensive and diverse with 115 taxa recorded including four non-native species. Vertical zonation was identified on the sides of the device, with an algae-dominated shallow subtidal area and a deeper area characterised by a high proportion of suspension-feeding invertebrates. Differences in species composition and biomass were also observed between devices, along the length of the device and between sampling dates. This research provides an insight into the variation of biofouling assemblages on a wave energy device as well as the potential technical and ecological implications associated with biofouling on marine renewable energy structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-396
Number of pages18
JournalBiofouling
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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