This study investigated whether or not boat noise causes variations in brown meagre (Sciaena umbra) vocalizations recorded in a nearshore Mediterranean marine reserve. Six nocturnal experimental sessions were carried out from June to September 2009. In each of them, a recreational boat passed over vocalizing fish 6 times with 1 boat passage every 10 min. For this purpose three different boats were used in random order: an 8.5-m cabin-cruiser (CC), a 5-m fiberglass boat (FB), and a 7-m inflatable boat (INF). In situ continuous acoustic recordings were collected using a self-standing sonobuoy. Because boat noise levels largely exceeded both background noise and S. umbra vocalizations in the species hearing frequency range, masking of acoustic communication was assumed. Although no immediate effect was observed during a single boat passage, the S. umbra mean pulse rate increased over multiple boat passages in the experimental condition but not in the control condition, excluding that the observed effect was due to a natural rise in fish vocalizations. The observed vocal enhancement may result either from an increased density of callers or from an increased number of pulses/sounds produced by already acoustically active individuals, as a form of vocal compensation. These two explanations are discussed. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.

Brown meagre vocalization rate increases during repetitive boat noise exposures: A possible case of vocal compensation

Picciulin M.;Calcagno G.;
2012

Abstract

This study investigated whether or not boat noise causes variations in brown meagre (Sciaena umbra) vocalizations recorded in a nearshore Mediterranean marine reserve. Six nocturnal experimental sessions were carried out from June to September 2009. In each of them, a recreational boat passed over vocalizing fish 6 times with 1 boat passage every 10 min. For this purpose three different boats were used in random order: an 8.5-m cabin-cruiser (CC), a 5-m fiberglass boat (FB), and a 7-m inflatable boat (INF). In situ continuous acoustic recordings were collected using a self-standing sonobuoy. Because boat noise levels largely exceeded both background noise and S. umbra vocalizations in the species hearing frequency range, masking of acoustic communication was assumed. Although no immediate effect was observed during a single boat passage, the S. umbra mean pulse rate increased over multiple boat passages in the experimental condition but not in the control condition, excluding that the observed effect was due to a natural rise in fish vocalizations. The observed vocal enhancement may result either from an increased density of callers or from an increased number of pulses/sounds produced by already acoustically active individuals, as a form of vocal compensation. These two explanations are discussed. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3718589
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