Loudspeakers are bringing fish back to coral reefs

03 Décembre, 2019, 20:14 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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On Friday, British and Australian researchers launched another unorthodox strategy they say could help restoration efforts broadcasting: the sounds of the dying reefs healthy.

Over the course of six weeks, researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia played audio recordings over speakers installed underwater at dead patches found in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

This ebb and flow helps keep ecosystems in balance and lends the reef habitat an added level of resiliency to environmental stress.

The results were promising, according to the researchers. "Juvenile fish home in on these sounds when they're looking for a place to settle", Prof.

This new study not only look at the number of fish double in number through the use of underwater loudspeakers, but also see an increase in the number of existing species by 50%. "Whilst we can't necessarily tell if exactly the same individuals remained, it is certainly true that there were increasing numbers of both individuals and of species across that time, so most likely those arriving were staying", Radford said.

"Corals be quiet ghosts when they were relegated, as shrimp and fish disappear, but with using loudspeakers to restore this soundscape is missing, we can attract young fish back again".

But while the demise of coral reefs is a boon to parrotfish, the latest research suggests the hardy fish help reefs recover from bleaching by cleaning off the scunge.

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The scientists conducted their experiments across patches of dead coral along the Great Barrier Reef, which has been severely impacted by prolonged bleaching events in recent years.

The global team researchers conducted their study in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Individual parrotfish living among bleached coral were 20 percent larger than those living on healthy sections of the reef.

One important part of the incredibly complex ocean life is the interdependency of coral reefs and their surrounding habitat, which, like many other things in nature, has suffered from the consequences of climate change.

"We tracked the experimental reefs for 40 days". They then mounted underwater loudspeakers to the middle of the patches, angling them upward to make sure the sound was distributed in all instructions evenly.

The process, called acoustic enrichment, had a significant positive impact on the recruitment of young fish throughout the study period, the researchers wrote.

"Fish are crucial for coral reefs to function as healthy ecosystems", Tim Gordon a PhD researcher from the University of Exeter and the lead author on the report, said in a press release.

The researchers, including those from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, said boosting the populations using this kind of "acoustic enrichment" can help to kick-start a natural recovery processes of the reefs, counteracting the damage seen in many coral communities around the world.

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