Vessel noise affects routine swimming and escape response of a coral reef fish

Velasquez Jimenez, Laura, Fakan, Eric P., and McCormick, Mark I. (2020) Vessel noise affects routine swimming and escape response of a coral reef fish. PLoS ONE, 15 (7). e0235742.

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An increasing number of studies have shown that anthropogenic noise can negatively affect aspects of the anti-predator behaviour of reef fishes, potentially affecting fitness and survival. However, it has been suggested that effects could differ among noise sources. The present study compared two common sources of anthropogenic noise and investigated its effects on behavioural traits critical for fish survival. In a tank-based experiment we examined the effects of noise from 4-stroke motorboats and ships (bulk carriers > 50,000 tonnes) on the routine swimming and escape response of a coral reef fish, the whitetail damselfish (Pomacentrus chrysurus). Both 4-stroke boat and ship noise playbacks affected the fast-start response and routine swimming of whitetail damselfish, however the magnitude of the effects differed. Fish exposed to ship noise moved shorter distances and responded more slowly (higher response latency) to the startle stimulus compared to individuals under the 4-stroke noise treatment. Our study suggests that 4-stroke and ship noise can affect activity and escape response of individuals to a simulated predation threat, potentially compromising their anti-predator behaviour.

Item ID: 64887
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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Copyright Information: © 2020 Velasquez Jimenez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 2 of the following PhD thesis: Velasquez Jimenez, Laura Marcela (2021) The effects of vessel noise on the antipredator behaviour of juvenile reef fishes. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: M.I.M., SeaWorld Research and Rescue Foundation
Projects and Grants: M.I.M. Grant Number SWR/1/2017
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2020 07:44
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180505 Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition @ 100%
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