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An ecosystem approach for studying the impact of offshore wind farms: a French case study
Pezy, J.-P.; Raoux, A.; Dauvin, J.C. (2018). An ecosystem approach for studying the impact of offshore wind farms: a French case study. ICES J. Mar. Sci./J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 77(3): 1238-1246. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsy125
In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. Academic Press: London. ISSN 1054-3139; e-ISSN 1095-9289, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Ecological Network Analysis, ecopath model, marine renewable energy, offshore wind farms, sampling strategy, trophic web.

Authors  Top 
  • Pezy, J.-P.
  • Raoux, A.
  • Dauvin, J.C., more

Abstract
    The French government is planning the construction of offshore wind farms (OWF) in the next decade (around 2900 MW). Following the European Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337/EEC, several studies have been undertaken to identify the environmental conditions and ecosystem functioning at selected sites prior to OWF construction. However, these studies are generally focused on the conservation of some species and there is no holistic approach for analysing the effects arising from OWF construction and operation. The objective of this article is to promote a sampling strategy to collect data on the different ecosystem compartments of the future Dieppe-Le Tréport (DLT) wind farm site, adopting an ecosystem approach, which could be applied to other OWFs for the implementation of a trophic network analysis. For that purpose, an Ecopath model is used here to derive indices from Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) to investigate the ecosystem structure and functioning. The results show that the ecosystem is most likely detritus-based, associated with a biomass dominated by bivalves, which could act as a dead end for a classic trophic food web since their consumption by top predators is low in comparison to their biomass. The systemic approach developed for DLT OWF site should be applied for other French and European installations of Offshore Wind Farm.

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