Characterisation of the biofouling community on a floating wave energy device

Chris Nall, Marie-Lise Schlappy, Andrew Guerin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
238 Downloads (Pure)


Wave energy devices are novel structures in the marine environment and, as such, provide a unique habitat for biofouling organisms. In this study, destructive scrape samples and photoquadrats were used to characterise the temperate epibenthic community present on prototypes of the Pelamis wave energy converter. The biofouling observed was extensive and diverse with 115 taxa recorded including four non-native species. Vertical zonation was identified on the sides of the device, with an algae-dominated shallow subtidal area and a deeper area characterised by a high proportion of suspension-feeding invertebrates. Differences in species composition and biomass were also observed between devices, along the length of the device and between sampling dates. This research provides an insight into the variation of biofouling assemblages on a wave energy device as well as the potential technical and ecological implications associated with biofouling on marine renewable energy structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-396
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017


  • Non-native species
  • Marine growth
  • Marine renewable energy
  • Epibiota composition
  • ROV surveys
  • marine renewable energy devices


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