The aim of
the ICES Working Group on Marine Benthal and Renewable Energy Developments
(WGMBRED) will be to increase scientific efficiency of benthal renewable energy
related research, to specify the various cause-effect relationships resulting
from the construction and operation of offshore renewable energy installations,
and to develop guidelines and an overview of existing data for cumulative
impact research by future international collaboration. The outcomes will assist
in improving monitoring concepts in the context of offshore renewable energy constructions
and will also be set within the context of marine spatial planning strategies
and future ecosystem-based management approaches.
energy developments, in particular wind farms, will most likely become one of
the most important and large-scale anthropogenic pressures and will affect
benthic communities over various spatial and temporal scales within coastal and
offshore ecosystems over the next decades. The identification of these
processes is the prerequisite for an efficient, hypothesis-driven approach
towards the understanding of the various effects of marine energy developments
on the marine benthos as well as on the whole ecosystem.
organisms have a fundamental place in marine ecosystems and deliver numerous
ecosystem goods and services (such as marine biodiversity, long-term carbon
storage and natural resources), which are intimately linked to the benthic
system. Extensive renewable energy developments have the potential to initiate
processes which are expected to affect benthic communities in numerous ways. During
the ICES Workshop WKEOMB, a first initiative was started on the identification
of benthic cause-effect relationships triggered by offshore wind farms.
ICES WGMBRED participants at SAMS, Scotland in April 2015.