1.The brown meagre (Sciaena umbra) is a demersal sciaenid fish recognized as indicative of good environmental quality and is defined as an umbrella species for the ecological community of rocky coastal habitats. Sciaena umbra is classified as a Vulnerable fish species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and knowledge on the distribution of its spawning habitats is essential for its conservation. 2.Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is a suitable tool to monitor S. umbra distribution because of the high consistency, over space and time, of the communication sounds that this species emits during the reproductive period, with irregular or regular rhythms, or with calls merging into a chorus. 3.During the summer of 2019, the presence of this species was investigated acoustically at 40 listening points distributed along the tidal inlets that connect the Venice lagoon with the open sea. 4.Longer sounds, comprising a higher number of faster repeated pulses, were found during the chorus and were used as a proxy of spawning activity; similar sound features have been recorded in different captive Sciaenids during spawning. 5.The three inlets were classified as more or less suitable for spawning on the basis of the vocal rhythms identified, demonstrating a clear preference along a north–south gradient and indicating higher spawning activity in the internal-facing areas of the inlets, compared with the seaward-facing areas. The chorus occurred in localized areas consistently throughout the breeding season, suggesting that spawning is concentrated in preferred areas. 6.For the first time a relationship between the sound features and vocal rhythms of fish has been highlighted by an in situ study. This validates the use of the chorus as a reliable natural indicator of S. umbra breeding sites, and in turn suggests a potential non-invasive approach based on PAM for mapping the key reproductive areas of this vulnerable species in the Mediterranean Sea.

Sound features and vocal rhythms as a proxy for locating the spawning ground of Sciaena umbra in the wild

Picciulin M.
;
Facca C.;Malavasi S.
2020

Abstract

1.The brown meagre (Sciaena umbra) is a demersal sciaenid fish recognized as indicative of good environmental quality and is defined as an umbrella species for the ecological community of rocky coastal habitats. Sciaena umbra is classified as a Vulnerable fish species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and knowledge on the distribution of its spawning habitats is essential for its conservation. 2.Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is a suitable tool to monitor S. umbra distribution because of the high consistency, over space and time, of the communication sounds that this species emits during the reproductive period, with irregular or regular rhythms, or with calls merging into a chorus. 3.During the summer of 2019, the presence of this species was investigated acoustically at 40 listening points distributed along the tidal inlets that connect the Venice lagoon with the open sea. 4.Longer sounds, comprising a higher number of faster repeated pulses, were found during the chorus and were used as a proxy of spawning activity; similar sound features have been recorded in different captive Sciaenids during spawning. 5.The three inlets were classified as more or less suitable for spawning on the basis of the vocal rhythms identified, demonstrating a clear preference along a north–south gradient and indicating higher spawning activity in the internal-facing areas of the inlets, compared with the seaward-facing areas. The chorus occurred in localized areas consistently throughout the breeding season, suggesting that spawning is concentrated in preferred areas. 6.For the first time a relationship between the sound features and vocal rhythms of fish has been highlighted by an in situ study. This validates the use of the chorus as a reliable natural indicator of S. umbra breeding sites, and in turn suggests a potential non-invasive approach based on PAM for mapping the key reproductive areas of this vulnerable species in the Mediterranean Sea.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3728634
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