Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Boat noise impacts development and survival of sea hares

31.07.2014

While previous studies have shown that marine noise can affect animal movement and communication, with unknown ecological consequences, scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) CRIOBE in France have demonstrated that boat noise stops embryonic development and increases larval mortality in sea hares.

Sea hares, (specifically the sea slug Stylocheilus striatus used in this study) usually hatch from their eggs to swim away and later feed on toxic alga but this study, conducted in a coral reef lagoon in French Polynesia, found that when exposed to playback of boat noise, more eggs failed to develop and those that hatched were more likely to die.

Lead author Sophie Nedelec, a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol and EPHE said: "Traffic noise is now one of the most widespread global pollutants. If the reproductive output of vulnerable species is reduced, we could be changing communities and losing vital ecological functions. This species is particularly important because it eats a toxic alga that affects recruitment of fish to coral reefs."

Anthropogenic (man-made) noise is now recognised as a global pollutant, appearing in national and international legislation (for example, the US National Environment Policy Act and European Commission Marine Strategy Framework Directive).

Boats are found around all coastal environments where people live and the noise they make spreads far and wide. Increasingly, recent research has indicated that noise from human activities can affect the behaviour and physiology of animals, but this is the first study to show impacts on development and larval survival.

Co-author, Dr Steve Simpson, a marine biologist and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter, said: "Boat noise may cause stress or physically disrupt cells during development, affecting chances of survival. Since one in five people in the world rely on marine animals as a major source of protein, regulating traffic noise in important fisheries areas could help marine communities and the people that depend on them."

Co-author, Dr Suzanne Mills, an evolutionary biologist from CRIOBE, Perpignan said: "Our study used controlled field experiments and a split-brood, counterbalanced design to account for any possible site or genetic effects. Nearly 30,000 eggs were placed in plastic tubes. Half the eggs from each mother were near speakers playing boat noise while the other half were near speakers playing coral-reef ambient noise. Both success of embryonic development and post-hatching survival decreased by more than 20% as a consequence of exposure to boat-noise playback."

Co-author, Dr Andy Radford, a reader in behavioural ecology at the University of Bristol, said: "This is the first indication that noise pollution can affect development and survival during critical early life stages. Growing evidence for the impact of noise on animals suggests that consideration should be given to the regulation of human activities in protected areas."

The research is published today in Scientific Reports.

Hannah Johnson | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

Further reports about: Boat Sea hares activities alga animals eggs embryonic development toxic traffic noise

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Seabird SOS
01.09.2015 | University of California - Santa Barbara

nachricht Northern bald ibises fit for their journey to Tuscany
21.08.2015 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists. The study is the first to explain how the steep-fronted plateau formed.

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from...

Im Focus: An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tiny Drops of Early Universe 'Perfect' Fluid

02.09.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

Learning from Nature: Genomic database standard alleviates search for novel antibiotics

02.09.2015 | Life Sciences

International research project gets high level of funding

02.09.2015 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>