Navigation Links
Marine Pied Piper leads Nemo astray
Date:8/3/2010

The growing amount of human noise pollution in the ocean could lead fish away from good habitat and off to their death, according to new research from a UK-led team working on the Great Barrier Reef.

After developing for weeks at sea, baby tropical fish rely on natural noises to find the coral reefs where they can survive and thrive. However, the researchers found that short exposure to artificial noise makes fish become attracted to inappropriate sounds.

In earlier research, Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Researcher in the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences discovered that baby reef fish use sounds made by fish, shrimps and sea urchins as a cue to find coral reefs. With human noise pollution from ships, wind farms and oil prospecting on the increase, he is now concerned that this crucial behaviour is coming under threat.

He said: "When only a few weeks old, baby reef fish face a monumental challenge in locating and choosing suitable habitat. Reef noise gives them vital information, but if they can learn, remember and become attracted towards the wrong sounds, we might be leading them in all the wrong directions."

Using underwater nocturnal light traps, Dr Simpson and his team collected baby damselfish as they were returning to coral reefs. The fish were then put into tanks with underwater speakers playing natural reef noise or a synthesised mix of pure tones. The next night the fish were put into specially designed choice chambers (long tubes with contrasting conditions at each end in which fish can move freely towards the end they prefer) with natural or artificial sounds playing. All the fish liked the reef noise, but only the fish that had experienced the tone mix swam towards it, the others were repelled by it.

Dr Simpson said: "This result shows that fish can learn a new sound and remember it hours later, debunking the 3-second memory myth."

His collaborator, Dr Mark Meekan added: "It also shows that they can discriminate between sounds and, based on their experience, become attracted to sounds which might really mess up their behaviour on the most important night of their life."

In noisy environments the breakdown of natural behaviour could have devastating impacts on success of populations and the replenishment of future fish stocks.

Dr Simpson said: "Anthropogenic noise has increased dramatically in recent years, with small boats, shipping, drilling, pile driving and seismic testing now sometimes drowning out the natural sounds of fish and snapping shrimps. If fish accidentally learn to follow the wrong sounds, they could end up stuck next to a construction site or follow a ship back out to sea."


'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline Clancy
caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-7777
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals -- a research strategy
2. The Marine Mammal Center begins new leptospirosis study in California
3. Scientists announce major progress towards historic Census of Marine Life in 2010
4. Marine invasive species advance 50km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
5. Marine invasive species advance 50 km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
6. Snowy owl -- a marine species?
7. Ocean acidification could have broad effects on marine ecosystems
8. Fish guts explain marine carbon cycle mystery
9. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
10. Census of Marine Life and ocean in Google Earth bring ocean information to life
11. New version of Google Earth features Californias marine protected areas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marine Pied Piper leads Nemo astray
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... -- Today, the first day of American Heart Month, the ... first of its kind workplace health solution that leverages ... first application of Watson to ... Welltok will create a new offering that combines AHA,s ... on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is intended ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the ... pharma and publication industries, will provide the data management ... Centre (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis measures ... whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor ... expecting to fill more than 100 tables for its annual event, which will ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... PatientCrossroads announces ... the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its one-year and overall recruitment ... PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding of the hereditary risks for certain ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an ... treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, announced today it has been selected to present at the ... Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The purpose of the Forum is to help ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Regenicin, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ... the development and commercialization of regenerative cell therapies ... organs, recently reported the Company,s operating results for ... 2016. Lonza America , Inc. (the ... year in the process of consummating an agreement ...
Breaking Biology Technology: