Effects of boat noise on fish fast-start escape response depend on engine type

McCormick, Mark I., Fakan, Eric P., Nedelec, Sophie L., and Allan, Bridie J.M. (2019) Effects of boat noise on fish fast-start escape response depend on engine type. Scientific Reports, 9. 6554.

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Vessel noise represents a relatively recent but rapidly increasing form of pollution, which affects the many organisms that use sound to inform their behavioural decisions. Recent research shows that anthropogenic noise can lead to reduced responsiveness to risk and higher mortality. The current laboratory experiment determined whether the playback of noise from motorboats powered by two- or four-stroke outboard engines affected the kinematics of the fast-start response in a juvenile coral reef fish, and the time scale over which the effects may occur. Results show that the two engine types produce slightly different sound spectra, which influence fish differently. Playback of 2-stroke engines had the greatest effect on activity, but only for a brief period (45 s). While noise from 4-stroke outboard engines affected fast-start kinematics, they had half the impact of noise from 2-stroke engines. Two-stroke engine noise affected routine swimming more than 4-stroke engines, while 4-stroke noise had a greater effect on the speed at which fish responded to a startle. Evidence suggests that the source of the noise pollution will have a major influence on the way marine organisms will respond, and this gives managers an important tool whereby they may reduce the effects of noise pollution on protected communities.

Item ID: 61662
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © 2019, The Author(s).
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Projects and Grants: EI140100117
Research Data: http://doi.org/10.25903/5b8cac554a2b0
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 00:03
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
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