Wang, T.; Yu, W.; Zou, X.; Zhang, D.; Li, B.; Wang, J., and Zhang, H., 2018. Zooplankton community responses and the relation to environmental factors from established offshore wind farms within the Rudong coastal area of China.

The goal of this study was to examine the responses of the zooplankton community to the establishment of an OWF, the causes of any observed effects, and their relation to environmental factors in the study area. This article describes the results of an investigation into the zooplankton community and the main environmental factors affecting that community based on data obtained from three cruises in May, August, and November of 2015 in the area of the Longyuan OWF in Rudong, China. This study analyzed the spatiotemporal distribution of zooplankton, including data obtained before the construction of the wind farm, to assess any postconstruction change in the zooplankton community. Data from the zooplankton community were analyzed using canonical correlation analysis, redundancy analysis, and multiple regression analysis. The analysis indicates that the presence of the wind turbine foundations reduced the quantity of the macrozooplankton significantly (the percentage of change was −96.87% in the autumn, and −26.70% in the spring), and reduced the biomass slightly in autumn (the percentage of change was −58.20%) or increased the biomass in the spring (the percentage of change was 75.77%). However, the quantity of the microzooplankton significantly increased (the percentage of change was 542.76% in the spring) or decreased slightly (the percentage of change was −86.25% in the autumn). The water also showed a postconstruction trend toward eutrophication in this study area. The data also showed that water temperature, dissolved oxygen, suspended matter concentration, and pH were the most important factors influencing the zooplankton community. The suspended-matter concentration had opposite effects on the macrozooplankton and microzooplankton, suggesting that the postconstruction zooplankton community might show a trend toward miniaturization.

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