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Title: Marine non-native species in northern Scotland and the implications for the marine renewable energy industry
Author: Nall, Chris
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 5182
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of the Highlands and Islands
Date of Award: 2015
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Wave and tidal stream energy generation is a growing industry in the UK with the bulk of development planned in northern Scotland. This thesis aims to investigate the potential for this industry to facilitate the transfer and establishment of marine non-native species (NNS), and to inform mitigation and monitoring of this impact. In a baseline survey assessing NNS presence and distribution in harbours of northern Scotland, 10 NNS were found, and harbours planned to be used for device storage had the greatest NNS richness. This survey represents a valuable dataset for future monitoring programs, in an area which has rarely been surveyed. Characterisation of biofouling assemblages on a prototype wave energy device indicated that these structures can host diverse and biomass rich fouling communities. Non-native species were also observed on the device and were mostly identical in composition to NNS known from the harbour where the device was being stored. This provides the first biofouling study on a wave energy device and highlights the importance of wet-storage areas as a likely point in which NNS will colonise devices. Experiments investigating the effect of paint types on biofouling assemblages indicated that biocidal antifouling and fouling-release paint had significantly less NNS settlement. The non-native bryozoan Schizoporella japonica was also found at a lower density on lighter coloured anti-corrosive paints. Seasonal studies revealed limited settlement of NNS in winter, indicating a possible window for device maintenance and storage when NNS would not colonise devices. Pathways of NNS transfer in the industry were further evaluated through questionnaire surveys to industry operators. High risk transfer pathways included: the use of international vessels for installation purposes, and the wet-storage and towing of devices particularly across regional or national boundaries. It is hoped that the findings of this work will inform statutory bodies and industry operators of this environmental impact as well as the possible biosecurity measures to mitigate it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: European Social Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Water-power ; Renewable natural resources ; Exotic marine organisms