Juvenile damselfish are affected but desensitize to small motor boat noise

Holmes, Lucy J., McWilliam, Jamie, Ferrari, Maud C.O., and McCormick, Mark I. (2017) Juvenile damselfish are affected but desensitize to small motor boat noise. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 494. pp. 63-68.

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Anthropogenic noise pollution is rapidly increasing in the marine environment. Anthropogenic noise can mask biotic sounds, disrupting the successful transmission between caller and receiver, and can cause physical, physiological and behavioural changes in some species. The effect of noise pollution produced by small motorboats is of particular interest in shallow, coastal habitats where vessel numbers are steadily increasing. The present field study examined the effect of small motorboat noise on the behaviour of the juvenile common damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, and their potential to perform typical behaviours when presented with increased noise over a short time period. Behavioural observations in the field (before, 1, 10 and 20 min after the start of boat noise) found there was an immediate decrease in the boldness and relative distance moved by P. amboinensis in response to the noise produced by a boat with a 30 hp 2-stroke engine travelling 30-80 m away. However, fish appeared to return to pre-boat noise exposure behaviours within 20 min. The immediate change in behaviour may alter mortality rates in the short-term, but the potential for de-sensitization to boat noise may allow long-term persistence in noisy environments if they survive the initial disruption.

Item ID: 50725
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0981
Keywords: motorboat noise, marine sound, anthropogenic soundscapes, behaviour, coral reef fish
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CE)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE EI140100117
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.4225/28/5731691B9C95B
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 11:20
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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