Navigation Links
Marine Pied Piper leads Nemo astray
Date:8/3/2010

The growing amount of human noise pollution in the ocean could lead fish away from good habitat and off to their death, according to new research from a UK-led team working on the Great Barrier Reef.

After developing for weeks at sea, baby tropical fish rely on natural noises to find the coral reefs where they can survive and thrive. However, the researchers found that short exposure to artificial noise makes fish become attracted to inappropriate sounds.

In earlier research, Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Researcher in the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences discovered that baby reef fish use sounds made by fish, shrimps and sea urchins as a cue to find coral reefs. With human noise pollution from ships, wind farms and oil prospecting on the increase, he is now concerned that this crucial behaviour is coming under threat.

He said: "When only a few weeks old, baby reef fish face a monumental challenge in locating and choosing suitable habitat. Reef noise gives them vital information, but if they can learn, remember and become attracted towards the wrong sounds, we might be leading them in all the wrong directions."

Using underwater nocturnal light traps, Dr Simpson and his team collected baby damselfish as they were returning to coral reefs. The fish were then put into tanks with underwater speakers playing natural reef noise or a synthesised mix of pure tones. The next night the fish were put into specially designed choice chambers (long tubes with contrasting conditions at each end in which fish can move freely towards the end they prefer) with natural or artificial sounds playing. All the fish liked the reef noise, but only the fish that had experienced the tone mix swam towards it, the others were repelled by it.

Dr Simpson said: "This result shows that fish can learn a new sound and remember it hours later, debunking the 3-second memory myth."

His collaborator, Dr Mark Meekan added: "It also shows that they can discriminate between sounds and, based on their experience, become attracted to sounds which might really mess up their behaviour on the most important night of their life."

In noisy environments the breakdown of natural behaviour could have devastating impacts on success of populations and the replenishment of future fish stocks.

Dr Simpson said: "Anthropogenic noise has increased dramatically in recent years, with small boats, shipping, drilling, pile driving and seismic testing now sometimes drowning out the natural sounds of fish and snapping shrimps. If fish accidentally learn to follow the wrong sounds, they could end up stuck next to a construction site or follow a ship back out to sea."


'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline Clancy
caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-7777
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals -- a research strategy
2. The Marine Mammal Center begins new leptospirosis study in California
3. Scientists announce major progress towards historic Census of Marine Life in 2010
4. Marine invasive species advance 50km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
5. Marine invasive species advance 50 km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
6. Snowy owl -- a marine species?
7. Ocean acidification could have broad effects on marine ecosystems
8. Fish guts explain marine carbon cycle mystery
9. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
10. Census of Marine Life and ocean in Google Earth bring ocean information to life
11. New version of Google Earth features Californias marine protected areas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marine Pied Piper leads Nemo astray
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a ... enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI ... public safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings ... including a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to ... position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March ... Made Simple," and 23andMe , the leading personal ... food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers with personalized ... health goals and biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting ... Zipongo,s personalized food decision support platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Husson University will be celebrating ... body of knowledge during its Eighth Annual Research and Scholarship Day ... Atrium. During the event, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members from all of ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... technology applications, announced today that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Debbie Gustafson has been ... is the global industry association connecting the electronics manufacturing supply chain. The mission ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Dutch philosopher Koert van Mensvoort - founder of the Next Nature Network ... - has written a ,Letter to Humanity, in support of International ... a slave and victim to its own technology, but to employ technology to ... ... – founder of the Next Nature Network and Fellow of ‘Next Nature’ at ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... The Vibrating Orifice Aerosol ... for generating monodisperse droplets of known diameters for research applications such as for ... particles by drying monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing liquid out ...
Breaking Biology Technology: