Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Hard-substrate macrobenthos

Hard substrate provided by offshore installations attract epifouling species, reaching appreciable biomasses. These species change local food webs, with ecological implications for their immediate soft bottom surroundings. They form important habitats, while altering their direct environment chemically and physically. Data can be used to model marine growth weight, thickness, and genetic connectivity, across the North Sea, providing improved estimates to engineers and modelers.