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Climate change effects on the ecophysiology and ecological functioning of an offshore wind farm artificial hard substrate community
Voet, H.E.E.; Van Colen, C.; Vanaverbeke, J. (2022). Climate change effects on the ecophysiology and ecological functioning of an offshore wind farm artificial hard substrate community. Sci. Total Environ. 810: 152194. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152194
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697; e-ISSN 1879-1026, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Jassa herdmani (Walker, 1893) [WoRMS]; Metridium senile (Linnaeus, 1761) [WoRMS]; Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    Ocean warming; Ocean acidification; Offshore wind farm; Ecological functioning; Ecophysiology; Clearance potential

Project Top | Authors 
  • ExPERimental approaches towards Future Sustainable Use of North Sea Artificial HarD SubstratEs, more

Authors  Top 
  • Voet, H.E.E., more
  • Van Colen, C., more
  • Vanaverbeke, J., more

Abstract
    In the effort towards a decarbonised future, the local effects of a proliferating offshore wind farm (OWF) industry add to and interact with the global effects of marine climate change. This study aimed to quantify potential ecophysiological effects of ocean warming and acidification and to estimate and compare the cumulative clearance potential of suspended food items by OWF epifauna under current and future climate conditions. To this end, this study combined ecophysiological responses to ocean warming and acidification of three dominant colonising species on OWF artificial hard substrates (the blue mussel Mytilus edulis, the tube-building amphipod Jassa herdmani and the plumose anemone Metridium senile). In general, mortality, respiration rate and clearance rate increased during 3- to 6-week experimental exposures across all three species, except for M. senile, who exhibited a lower clearance rate in the warmed treatments (+3 °C) and an insensitivity to lowered pH (−0.3 pH units) in terms of survival and respiration rate. Ocean warming and acidification affected growth antagonistically, with elevated temperature being beneficial for M. edulis and lowered pH being beneficial for M. senile. The seawater volume potentially cleared from suspended food particles by this AHS colonising community increased significantly, extending the affected distance around an OWF foundation by 9.2% in a future climate scenario. By using an experimental multi-stressor approach, this study thus demonstrates how ecophysiology underpins functional responses to climate change in these environments, highlighting for the first time the integrated, cascading potential effects of OWFs and climate change on the marine ecosystem.

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