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Adaptive avoidance of reef noise

Simpson, Stephen D., Radford, Andrew N., Tickle, Edward J., Meekan, Mark G. and Jeffs, Andrew G. (2011). Adaptive avoidance of reef noise. PLoS ONE,6(2):e16625.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB168
Title Adaptive avoidance of reef noise
Author Simpson, Stephen D.
Radford, Andrew N.
Tickle, Edward J.
Meekan, Mark G.
Jeffs, Andrew G.
Journal Name PLoS ONE
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1932-6203   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page e16625
Total Pages 5
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Auditory information is widely used throughout the animal kingdom in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Some marine species are dependent on reefs for adult survival and reproduction, and are known to use reef noise to guide orientation towards suitable habitat. Many others that forage in food-rich inshore waters would, however, benefit from avoiding the high density of predators resident on reefs, but nothing is known about whether acoustic cues are used in this context.

By analysing a sample of nearly 700,000 crustaceans, caught during experimental playbacks in light traps in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, we demonstrate an auditory capability in a broad suite of previously neglected taxa, and provide the first evidence in any marine organisms that reef noise can act as a deterrent. In contrast to the larvae of species that require reef habitat for future success, which showed an attraction to broadcasted reef noise, taxa with a pelagic or nocturnally emergent lifestyle actively avoided it.

Our results suggest that a far greater range of invertebrate taxa than previously thought can respond to acoustic cues, emphasising yet further the potential negative impact of globally increasing levels of underwater anthropogenic noise.
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