Navigation Links
Man-made noise makes fish more susceptible to predators

Despite their reputation as slippery customers, a new study has shown that eels are losing the fight to survive when faced with marine noise pollution such as that of passing ships.

Scientists from the Universities of Exeter and Bristol found that fish exposed to playback of ship noise lose crucial responses to predator threats.

The study, published today in the journal Global Change Biology, found European eels were 50% less likely to respond to an ambush from a predator, while those that did had 25% slower reaction times. Those that were pursued by a predator were caught more than twice as quickly when exposed to the noise.

Lead author Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology & Global Change at the University of Exeter, said: "Our findings demonstrate that acute acoustic events, such as the noise of a passing ship, may have serious impacts on animals with direct consequences for life-or-death behavioural responses. If these impacts affect whole populations then the endangered eel, which has seen a 90% crash in abundance over the past 20 years due to climate change, may have one more problem to deal with as they cross busy coastal areas."

To understand what may cause this loss of crucial anti-predator behaviour, the team also tested physiology and spatial behaviour, and found heightened stress levels (increased ventilation and metabolic rate) and reduced lateralised behaviour (right-left preferences) when eels were subjected to playback of ship noise.

Co-author Dr Andy Radford, Reader in Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bristol, explains: "The fact that eels were affected physiologically and spatially suggests that other important functions may also be affected. We focused on anti-predator responses as, unlike impacts on movement or feeding, there is no way to compensate for being eaten after the disturbance goes away."

This study highlights the importance of assessing the scale of impacts of the anthropogenic noise that now pervades many coastal environments. Dr Simpson said: "If we want to effectively manage noise in the marine environment, we next need to assess the spatial scale over which individual animals and populations are affected. This means taking experiments like this one to offshore environments near to real-world noise sources."

Contact: Eleanor Gaskarth
University of Exeter

Related biology news :

1. Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too
2. Soybeans susceptible to man-made materials in soil
3. UEA research reveals 4 new man-made gases in the atmosphere
4. Unexpected discovery reveals a new mechanism for how the cerebellum extracts signal from noise
5. Human noise has ripple effects on plants
6. ONR taps research teams to help reduce jet noise
7. Noise down, neuron signals up
8. NOAA: Underwater noise decreases whale communications in Stellwagen Bank sanctuary
9. Ship noise makes crabs get crabby
10. A new method for measuring the flow of traffic a street has to bear by measuring atmospheric noise
11. Pitt team finds mechanism that causes noise-induced tinnitus and drug that can prevent it
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... 19, 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of ... BIO-key with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award ... Sullivan presents this award to the company that has ... needs of the market it serves. The award recognizes ... expands on customer base demands, the overall impact it ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , Nov. 18, 2015  As new scientific ... children, doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges in ... families and patients. In addition, as more children continue ... a patient,s adulthood and old age. John ... The Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , November 17, 2015 Paris ... 2015.   --> Paris from 17 ... DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first ... fingerprints on the same scanning surface. Until now two different ... Now one scanner can capture both on the same ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  AbbVie, is introducing Good Morning ... a daily routine for managing the life-long condition of ... affect the way the body absorbs it so resources ... daily routine are important. The goal of the new ... manage their hypothyroidism by establishing a daily routine, spirit ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... HACKENSACK, N.J. and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI ), a leading developer of ... its wholly-owned subsidiary, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd., has been awarded ... Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). This grant, ... to Brainstorm for 2015 activities to approximately $1.8 million (approximately ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is ... cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and ... companion diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md. , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. ... Directors has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) ... net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs ... "ownership change" as defined in Section 382 of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: