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Offshore Renewable Energy Structures As Artificial Islands [Raeanne Miller]


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Offshore Renewable Energy Structures As Artificial Islands [Raeanne Miller]

  1. 1. Offshore renewable energy structures as artificial islands: implications for dispersal, population connectivity, and biogeography of coastal species Raeanne Miller Supervisors: Dr. Michael Burrows, Dr. Clive Fox, Dr. Mark Inall
  2. 2. Outline •Marine renewable energy in Scotland •Larval dispersal and population connectivity •Effects of renewable energy devices on population connectivity •Preliminary study - what I’ve done so far •What’s next?
  3. 3. Marine renewable energy in Scotland • Increasing demand for fuel, climate change motivates MRED development •energy from wind, waves, and tides • Current government leasing round - sites on W. coast of Scotland, including Firth of Lorn •Most environmental impact work on MREDs focusses on ‘flagship’ species – mammals and birds Photo credits: Chris Bell, Raeanne Miller, OpenHydro (2010) • MREDs will host fouling communities of similar composition to nearby coastal communities (Moschella et al. 2005, Langhammer & Wilhelmsson, 2007) From Harrald & Davies 2010
  4. 4. MREDs and population connectivity Differences in connectivity patterns can contribute to patterns in distribution and abundance of coastal species across space and time Adapted from Pechenik et al. 1998 Population connectivity – exchange of individuals between geographically separated populations, does not need to be two directional.
  5. 5. Connectivity effects of MREDs: a logical approach Device situated at significant location Device has the potential to alter species ranges and/or population biogeography for the species in question YES NO Individuals can disperse to device Individuals can colonise device Reproductively significant populations can form on the device Offspring spawned from device can reach other habitats and settle YES YES YES YES NO NO NO NO Device is unlikely to alter connectivity patterns of biogeography of species in question
  6. 6. Study area and target organism
  7. 7. Preliminary study - year 1 • 39 plankton stations – 2 x 2 offshore transects • 23 shore stations plus 1 x offshore lighthouse (Skerryvore) •Outputs: • snapshot of larval transport and dispersal patterns on Firth of Lorn • shapshot of environmental parameters • generation of model start-points • generation of an empirical data set for model verification/validation
  8. 8. Preliminary results Cyprid
  9. 9. What’s next? • Higher-resolution, depth-stratified plankton survey • depth stratification by species? • depth stratification by age-class? •Shore-based study comparing larval supply with settlement and colonization rate • Wave-exposed and sheltered environments • Opportunistically include offshore lighthouses • Begin development of population model, parameterization of particles for transport model Continue to follow outlined logical approach: Can they get there? Can they form colonies? Can colonies reproduce significantly? Can next generation of larvae reach new shores?
  10. 10. Thank you! Literature cited: Harrald, M., and I. Davies. 2010. Further Scottish Leasing Round (Saltire Prize projects) Scoping Study. The Crown Estate. Langhamer, O. and D. Wilhelmsson. 2007. Wave power devices as artificial reefs. Proceedings of the 7th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference. Porto, Portugal. Moschella, P.S., M. Abbiati, P. Aberg, L. Airoldi, J.M. Anderson, F. Bacchiocchi, F. Bulleri, G.E. Dinesen, M. Frost, E. Garcia, L. Granhag, P. R. Jonsson, M. P. Satta, A. Sundelof, R.C. Thompson, and S. J. Hawkins. 2005. Low-crested coastal defence structures as artificial habitats for marine life: Using ecological criteria in design. Coastal Engineering 52:1053-1071. OpenHydro. 2010., accessed 30 September 2010. Pechenik, J. A. 2006. Larval experience and latent effects - metamorphosis is not a new beginning. Integrative and Comparative Biology 46:323-323. Pineda, J., J.A. Hare, S. Sponagule. 2007. Larval transport and dispersal in the coastal ocean and consequences for population connectivity. Oceanography 20:22-39. U.S. Energy Information Administration 2010. International Energy Outlook 2010, downloaded from, 21 October 2010.