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Researchers have been looking at various methods to save endangered coral reefs, for years, been looking at all of them, and for them to grow in the laboratory so that they are resistant to pollution. A new study suggests that a sound, healthy reefs may also have a role to play in saving it.
Known as the “acoustic gain,” the researchers believe that the placement of the underwater speakers in the near vicinity of the dying coral reefs may help the young fish to the reefs and to restore them.
“The fish will be of crucial importance to the coral reef to function as a healthy ecosystem,” said the study’s lead author, Tim Gordon, of the University of Exeter, in a statement. “It is stimulating to the fish, in this way, it would help to kick-start the natural repair process to counter the damage that we have seen on many of the coral reefs around the world.”
A clownfish in an anemone. (Credit: Tim Gordon, of the University of Exeter)
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The researchers working on the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system, and placed the speakers near to areas of dead coral are found, and a lot of fish, and continued to be, in comparison with the areas where there was no sound coming from the speakers. Not only is the number of fish doubles, but the number of species has increased by 50 per cent, added the researchers.
“Healthy coral reefs are remarkable in a noisy place, the crack of the snapping shrimp, and the whoops and grunts of the fish all combine to make a beautiful organic soundscape,” one of the study’s co-authors, University of Exeter, professor Steve Simpson, said. “Juvenile fish home in on these sounds, if they are looking for a place to settle down.”
All of the components of the food chain have been drawn to the water, including that of herbivores, detritivores, planktivores and predatory piscivores, the researchers found.
“The reefs will be eerie silence and when they are broken, because of the shrimp, and the fish are disappearing, but because of the use of the speakers, to restore this lost soundscape, we are able to attract the young fish,” Simpson added.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science, fish biology, Mark flash and runs should be noted that the take of fish so as not to bring the reef back to life automatically, but it will help you on the road to recovery, so it can be cleaned up, and the creating of space for the corals to go in.”
Coral rubblefield, in Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Credit: Tim Gordon, of the University of Exeter)
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One of the study’s other co-authors, Andy Radford, has noted that the “acoustic ” enrichment” is very promising, as it could help in a variety of species, maintain healthy ecosystems, but more needs to be done for reef conservation and recovery.
“If it is to be combined with habitat restoration and other conservation measures, restoration of the fish communities in this way, it will be able to accelerate ecosystem recovery,” Radford said. “However, we still need to tackle a number of other threats, such as climate change, overfishing, and water pollution in order to protect this fragile eco-system.”
The study has been published in the scientific journal Nature.
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