Navigation Links
Listen up: Oysters may use sound to select a home
Date:10/30/2013

Oysters begin their lives as tiny drifters, but when they mature they settle on reefs. New research from North Carolina State University shows that the sounds of the reef may attract the young oysters, helping them locate their permanent home.

Larval oysters are planktonic, meaning that they cannot swim against or across currents. However, they do have the ability to move up and down within the column of water that they're in. As they mature, they develop a muscular "foot" that they can use to sense the terrain along the ocean floor. When they find the right spot, they attach themselves and remain there throughout their lives.

Ashlee Lillis, an NC State Ph.D. candidate in marine sciences, wondered how the tiny oysters knew when to drop down and start looking for a home. Scientists know that larval oysters and other bivalves, like clams, respond to some chemical and physical signals in seawater, but Lillis wondered if the sound of the reef played a role.

"When you're as small as these larvae, even if you're only 10 or 15 feet up in a water column you wouldn't have any real sense of where you were in terms of the seafloor beneath you," Lillis says. "But an ocean reef has very loud, distinct sounds associated with it. They're noisy enough to be heard by scuba divers and snorkelers. Even though oysters don't have ears and hear like we do, they might be able to sense the vibration from the sounds of the reef."

Lillis and her adviser David Eggleston, professor of marine sciences, decided to test the hypothesis. With help from NC State geophysicist Del Bohnenstiehl, the team first made underwater sound recordings of oyster reefs and the open seafloor. Then they tested larval oysters in the wild and in the lab to determine if the settlement rates increased when they were exposed to reef sounds versus those from further out.

The team found an increased settlement rate in both the lab and the wild when the larvae were exposed to reef sounds. Their results appear in PLOS ONE.

"The ocean has different soundscapes, just like on land," Lillis says. "Living in a reef is like living in a busy urban area: there are a lot of residents, a lot of activity and a lot of noise. By comparison, the seafloor is more like living in the quiet countryside.

"This research is the first step in establishing what normal, healthy reef environments sound like," Lillis adds. "If we can figure out how the noise impacts oysters it may give us strategies for establishing new oyster beds. It might also give us a noninvasive method for keeping tabs on the health of our undersea reefs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Strax Rejuvenation Releases a New Radio Ad that is Getting a Lot of Attention from Listeners
2. Listening to cells: Scientists probe human cells with high-frequency sound
3. Oysters could rebound more quickly with limited fishing and improved habitat
4. Electron-beam pasteurization of raw oysters may reduce viral food poisoning
5. This month in ecology: Oysters, big rivers, biofuels
6. Hear where you are: How sound not only informs, but places us
7. Surprising underwater-sounds: Humpback whales also spend their winter in Antarctica
8. Ultrasound patch heals venous ulcers in human trial
9. UF researcher shows hawkmoths use ultrasound to combat bats
10. Secrets of the cicadas sound
11. Measuring ultrasound for better treatment of muscle injuries
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets ... 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR ... Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an ... the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and ... furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer ... guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published in ... and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched ... , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the second time in three years, ... Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October 10th, ... mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by dramatically ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates ... will speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 ... in the residential home security market and how smart safety and security ... Parks Associates: ... "The residential security ...
Breaking Biology Technology: