Ecological research at the offshore test site “alpha ventus”, to be used in an evaluation of the BSH’s Standards for Environmental Impact Assessments (StUKplus)

The purpose of ecological research at the alpha ventus test site is to gain better knowledge about the impacts of offshore wind farms on the marine environment during their construction and operational phases. The data will be used to evaluate the BSH’s Standards for Environmental Impact Assessments - Impacts of Offshore Wind Turbines on the Marine Environment (StUK) and possibly update them with a view to future wind farm project planning.

The BSH has been commissioned to develop a concept for ecological research accompanying such projects. The concept includes not only environmental studies according to StUK but also other research issues funded by the Federal Environment Ministry within the framework of the RAVE project.

Duration of the project:
05/2008 – 04/2014

Contract number of the project:

Research issues

  • How do marine mammals and passage migrants react to the wind farm and will there be habitat losses?
  • What impact will noise during the construction and operational phases have on marine mammals and fish?
  • Will there be changes in benthic communities and fish fauna that are attributable to the artifical hard substrate used?
  • Will there be evasive movements of birds or bird collisions with turbines?

The co-ordinated approach involving mandatory standard monitoring and supplemental research will bring about synergy effects regarding both the methods used and efficient use of resources. The concept will be implemented during the follow-up project.

Benthos and fish:

  • Completion of time series during the operational phase and investigation of benthic changes on the basis of extended site-specific effects monitoring (AWI)
  • Examination of the impacts of wind turbines on fish and vagile megafauna in the alpha ventus test field (AWI)

Passage migrants:

  • Studies on possible habitat losses and behavioural changes of seabirds in the offshore test field (TESTBIRD)(FTZ)

Migratory birds:

  • Test field research on bird migration near the offshore test field alpha ventus (Avitec Research)
  • Observation of bird collisions using the VARS system (IfaÖ)
  • Observation of evasive movements of migratory birds using pencil beam radar (IfaÖ)

Marine mammals:

  • Supplemental research into the impact of alpha ventus construction and operational activities on marine mammals (FTZ)


  • Noise measurements during pile driving and operation at a large distance from the alpha ventus test field and data processing using a model (itap)

General research:

  • Joint evaluation of data on seabirds and marine mammals in the context of environmental effects monitoring at alpha ventus (FTZ/BSH)
  • Joint evaluation of data from research, monitoring programmes, and environmental compatibility assessments as a basis for a holistic evaluation of environmental effects monitoring at alpha ventus (AWI/BSH)
  • Evaluation of FINO1-research data on migratory birds - FINOAVIDATA

Project partners

Alfred Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung

Avitec Research

Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum Westküste (Außenstelle der Universität Kiel)

Institut für Angewandte Ökosystemforschung (IfAÖ)



BSH - Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Dr. Nico Nolte
Bernhard-Nocht-Str. 78
20359 Hamburg

Final report

You can find the final report (only available in German) here.


Here you can find the list of publications of the project "Ecology"