Presentation Title

Ambient noise levels as an indicator of marine community health: a comparison of protected vs non-protected Areas

Project Collaborators

Jose David Palacios, Fundacion Keto Juan Jose Alvarado, Dept. Biology University of Costa Rica Betzi Perez, Fundacion Panacetacea Jose Julio Casas, Ministerio del Ambiente, Panama

Abstract

Noise generated by healthy marine communities appear to influence larval settlement and adult habitat selection in fish, lobsters, and several species of crustaceans. This relationship between natural noise and habitat healthiness provides a straightforward approach to evaluate Marine Protected Areas success in preserving biodiversity. Here, we used an acoustic network of underwater recorders deployed in Costa Rica and Panama between 2019 and 2020 inside marine protected and non-protected areas. We used RFCxARBIMON soundscape tools to calculate the distribution of acoustic events by time of day and frequency bin, and use the program dBWav to calculate nose levels (dB Root-Mean-Square). We predict that if these MPAs are protecting their marine biodiversity they will have greater values of acoustic activity and biological noise levels than non-protected areas. This study provides the first assessment of this nature for this area and can have important implications in mitigating human activities in MPAs.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Laura May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Ambient noise levels as an indicator of marine community health: a comparison of protected vs non-protected Areas

Noise generated by healthy marine communities appear to influence larval settlement and adult habitat selection in fish, lobsters, and several species of crustaceans. This relationship between natural noise and habitat healthiness provides a straightforward approach to evaluate Marine Protected Areas success in preserving biodiversity. Here, we used an acoustic network of underwater recorders deployed in Costa Rica and Panama between 2019 and 2020 inside marine protected and non-protected areas. We used RFCxARBIMON soundscape tools to calculate the distribution of acoustic events by time of day and frequency bin, and use the program dBWav to calculate nose levels (dB Root-Mean-Square). We predict that if these MPAs are protecting their marine biodiversity they will have greater values of acoustic activity and biological noise levels than non-protected areas. This study provides the first assessment of this nature for this area and can have important implications in mitigating human activities in MPAs.