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Inbook Reference Blue mussel Mytilus edulis as habitat provider on offshore wind turbine foundations
We compare the species composition of the early (mussels not prevalent) and mature (mussels prevalent) subtidal colonizing communities at offshore windturbine foundations with special attention to the mobility and habitat preferences of the colonizing species. We identified 47 species belonging to nine different phyla from the samples of the mature community, including 21 species unique to the secondary substratum provided by the mussel shell, all of them are sessile species. Only 17 of the 37 species identified from the early subtidal colonizing community were present in the mature community. The main phyla present in both the early and mature samples were Mollusca, Arthropoda, and Annelida. Our findings confirm the hypothesis that mussels counteract the impoverishment of total species richness on wind turbines, caused by the abundant presence of Metridium senile in mature artificial hard substratum communities by providing secondary substratum for colonization by. sessile and hemi-sessile epifauna. The species assemblage found on these mussels is different from the one previously found on the piles, and only seventeen species (~36%) present in the mature community were already present in the first year after installation. In 2020, all bryozoan species (7) were exclusively observed on the secondary substratum provided by the shells of the mussels. However, these species were previously encountered on the scour protection or on the shells of other bivalves. This may be due to the fact that the secondary substratum provided by the mussels differs in physical properties (e.g., microhabitat complexity) from the primary (vertical) substratum of the pile.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inbook Reference Offshore renewable energy development in the Belgian part of the North Sea – 2021
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: Opportunities and challenges on the path towards biodiversity recovery
The European Union (EU) has committed to an ambitious biodiversity recovery plan in its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Green Deal. These policies aim to halt biodiversity loss and move towards sustainable development, focusing on restoring degraded habitats, extending the network of protected areas (PAs), and improving the effectiveness of management, governance, and funding. The achievement of conservation goals must be founded on understanding past successes and failures. Here, we summarise the strengths and weaknesses of past EU biodiversity conservation policies and practices and explore future opportunities and challenges. We focus on four main aspects: i) coordination among and within the EU Member States, ii) integration of biodiversity conservation into socio-economic sectors, iii) adequacy and sufficiency of funds, and iv) governance and stakeholder participation.Whilst past conservation efforts have benefitted from common rules across the EU and funding mechanisms, they have failed at operationalizing coordination within and across the Member States, integrating biodiversity conservation into other sectoral policies, adequately funding and effectively enforcing management, and facilitating stakeholder participation in decision-making. Future biodiversity conservation would benefit from an extended and better-managed network of PAs, additional novel funding opportunities, including the private sector, and enhanced co-governance. However, it will be critical to find sustainable solutions to potential conflicts between conservation goals and other socio-economic objectives and to resolve inconsistencies across sectoral policies.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Book Reference Environmental impacts of offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: Attraction, avoidance and habitat use at various spatial scales
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inbook Reference Occurrence of intense bird migration events at rotor height in Belgian offshore wind farms and curtailment as possible mitigation to reduce collision risk
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inbook Reference Executive summary: Attraction, avoidance and habitat use at various spatial scales
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference From plate to plug: The impact of offshore renewables on European fisheries and the role of marine spatial planning
Offshore renewables (OR), such as offshore wind farms, are a key pillar to address increasing energy demands and the global transition to a carbon-free power sector. The transition to ever more occupied marine spaces, often facilitated by marine spatial planning (MSP), increases the conflict potential with free ranging marine sectors such as fisheries. Here, we quantified for the first time the direct impact of current and future OR development on fisheries across European seas. We defined direct impact as the average annual fishing effort (h) overlapping with OR planning sites and applied an ensemble approach by deploying and harmonising various fisheries data to optimise spatial coverage for the European seas. The North Sea region will remain the centre of OR development for a long time, but a substantial increase of conflict potential between these sectors will also occur in other European sea basins after 2025. Across all sea basins, fishing fleets deploying bottom contacting gears targeting flatfish and crustaceans are and will be affected the most by the already constructed and planned OR. Our results provide a solid basis towards an understanding of the socio-economic effects of OR development on European fisheries. We argue that European MSP processes need to adopt common strategies to produce standardised and harmonised socio-economic data to understand implications of OR on free-ranging marine activities such as fisheries.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference Extending Our Scientific Reach in Arboreal Ecosystems for Research and Management
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Discovery-defense strategy as a mechanism of social foraging of ants in tropical rainforest canopies
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Article Reference Distance–decay patterns differ between canopy and ground ant assemblages in a tropical rainforest
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017