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How Can We Understand Freshwater Soundscapes Without Fish Sound Descriptions?

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Abstract

The ecological importance of the freshwater soundscape is just beginning to be recognized by society. Scientists are beginning to apply Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) methods that are well established in marine systems to freshwater systems to map spatial and temporal patterns of behaviors associated with fish sounds as well as noise impacts on them. Unfortunately, these efforts are greatly hampered by a critical lack of data on the sources of sounds that make up the soundscape of freshwater habitats. A review of the literature finds that only 87 species have been reported to produce sounds in North America and Europe over the last 200 years, accounting for 5% of the known freshwater fish diversity. The problem is exacerbated by the general failure of researchers to report the detailed statistical descriptions of fish sound characteristics that are necessary to develop PAM programs. We suggest that publishers and editors should do more to encourage reporting of statistical properties of fish sounds. In addition, we call for research, academic, and government agencies to develop regional libraries of fish sounds to aid in PAM and anthropogenic noise impact studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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... Despite the continuously growing body of work documenting soniferous fish diversity, the field has been historically constrained by the lack of comprehensive and easily accessible inventories of information and recordings related to soniferous fish species. Experts have echoed the importance of addressing this issue for decades, calling for a compilation of fish sound production knowledge and sounds (Gannon, 2008;Lindseth and Lobel, 2018;Linke et al., 2018;Parsons et al., 2022;Rountree et al., 2002Rountree et al., , 2006Rountree et al., , 2019. ...
... For example, over the course of several publications, Fish, Mowbray, and Kelsey compiled information on the sound production of several hundred fish species found in the western North Atlantic and Pacific, using their own studies as well as others published in the literature (Fish, 1948(Fish, , 1954Fish et al., 1952;Fish and Mowbray, 1970). Many other researchers have compiled similar lists for specific geographic regions or taxa (e.g., Colleye et al., 2011;Hallacher, 1974;Parmentier et al., 2021;Rountree et al., 2019). Such datasets can aid in the identification of soniferous species, avoid unnecessary repetition of past research efforts, and highlight general trends in fish sound production. ...
... All the recordings provided on the website were required to have at least one associated publication in our literature inventory to serve as a form of scientific validation and to allow users to access documented information regarding recording methodology. In order to be inclusive of the diversity of fish sounds and research into them and because of the ongoing lack of widely applied standardized recording and reporting protocols (Lindseth and Lobel, 2018;Rountree et al., 2019), we did not apply any other criteria for accepting recordings. We will continue working to augment our library of sound recordings using the same associated publication criterion unless otherwise specified. ...
... Despite considerable work documenting fish sound production throughout nearly 150 years of contemporary scientific research, the exact prevalence of sound production among fish species remains indeterminate. There have been numerous efforts to catalog soniferous fish species, such as the extensive work of Marie Fish, William Mowbray, and their colleagues, but all of these endeavors have been limited to a particular region (e.g., Fish and Mowbray 1970;Rountree et al. 2019;Parmentier et al. 2021) or fish taxa (e.g., Hallacher 1974;Colleye et al. 2011). Furthermore, currently published reviews synthesizing information on sound production in fishes have largely been qualitative descriptions (e.g., Kasumyan 2008Kasumyan , 2009, lacked explicit data collection methodology and reporting (e.g., Kaatz et al. 2017), or did not analyze sound production at the species level (e.g., Rice et al. 2022). ...
... Furthermore, currently published reviews synthesizing information on sound production in fishes have largely been qualitative descriptions (e.g., Kasumyan 2008Kasumyan , 2009, lacked explicit data collection methodology and reporting (e.g., Kaatz et al. 2017), or did not analyze sound production at the species level (e.g., Rice et al. 2022). Consequently, the discipline has widely recognized the need to determine the prevalence of soniferous fishes and to create a comprehensive list of fish species that have been examined for sound production (Rountree et al. 2002(Rountree et al. , 2006(Rountree et al. , 2019Gannon 2008;Lindseth and Lobel 2018;Linke et al. 2018). Such an effort would additionally expand on previous estimates, such as the commonly cited number of 800 known actively soniferous fish species, which lacks a published list of which 800 species are described (Kaatz and Stewart 1999;Kaatz 2002;Rountree et al. 2006). ...
... This review focused on four objectives: (1) catalog which fish species have been examined for sound production; (2) explore the characteristics, distribution, and taxonomy of the fish species examined; (3) identify limitations in fish sound production examination methodology; and (4) highlight topics for future efforts to promote more effective research on soniferous fish diversity. We do not attempt to summarize general concepts of fish sound production that have been well-described elsewhere (e.g., Tavolga et al. 1981;Ladich 2000;Rountree et al. 2006Rountree et al. , 2019Gannon 2008;Kasumyan 2008Kasumyan , 2009Lindseth and Lobel 2018;Duarte et al. 2021), but we instead provide pertinent examples and other relevant reviews from the literature to support our objectives. ...
Article
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Sound production in fishes is vital to an array of behaviors including territorial defense, reproduction, and competitive feeding. Unfortunately, recent passive acoustic monitoring efforts are revealing the extent to which anthropogenic forces are altering aquatic soundscapes. Despite the importance of fish sounds, extensive endeavors to document them, and the anthropogenic threats they face, the field of fish bioacoustics has been historically constrained by the lack of an easily accessible and comprehensive inventory of known soniferous fishes, as is available for other taxa. To create such an inventory while simultaneously assessing the geographic and taxonomic prevalence of soniferous fish diversity, we extracted information from 834 references from the years 1874–2020 to determine that 989 fish species from 133 families and 33 orders have been shown to produce active (i.e., intentional) sounds. Active fish sound production is geographically and taxonomically widespread—though not homogenous—among fishes, contributing a cacophony of biological sounds to the prevailing soundscape globally. Our inventory supports previous findings on the prevalence of actively soniferous fishes, while allowing novel species-level assessments of their distribution among regions and taxa. Furthermore, we evaluate commercial and management applications with passive acoustic monitoring, highlight the underrepresentation of research on passive (i.e., incidental) fish sounds in the literature, and quantify the limitations of current methodologies employed to examine fishes for sound production. Collectively, our review expands on previous studies while providing the foundation needed to examine the 96% of fish species that still lack published examinations of sound production.
... He also pointed out the critical lack of data on the ambient noise and fish sounds in freshwater systems. Fortunately, after long neglect there has been a recent surge in interest in the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on freshwater ecosystems [see reviews in [3][4][5][6][7][8][9], but efforts to understand such impacts are hampered by the paucity of data on the natural soundscape composition [9]. The need for research on the sound production of freshwater fishes was highlighted in our recent review of the literature, which found that sounds have been reported in only 87 species in North America and Europe, but detailed descriptions of sound characteristics are known for only 30 species [9]. ...
... He also pointed out the critical lack of data on the ambient noise and fish sounds in freshwater systems. Fortunately, after long neglect there has been a recent surge in interest in the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on freshwater ecosystems [see reviews in [3][4][5][6][7][8][9], but efforts to understand such impacts are hampered by the paucity of data on the natural soundscape composition [9]. The need for research on the sound production of freshwater fishes was highlighted in our recent review of the literature, which found that sounds have been reported in only 87 species in North America and Europe, but detailed descriptions of sound characteristics are known for only 30 species [9]. ...
... Fortunately, after long neglect there has been a recent surge in interest in the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on freshwater ecosystems [see reviews in [3][4][5][6][7][8][9], but efforts to understand such impacts are hampered by the paucity of data on the natural soundscape composition [9]. The need for research on the sound production of freshwater fishes was highlighted in our recent review of the literature, which found that sounds have been reported in only 87 species in North America and Europe, but detailed descriptions of sound characteristics are known for only 30 species [9]. ...
Article
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The soundscape composition of temperate freshwater habitats is poorly understood. Our goal was to document the occurrence of biological and anthropogenic sounds in freshwater habitats over a large (46,000 km²) area along the geographic corridors of five major river systems in North America (Connecticut, Kennebec, Merrimack, Presumpscot, and Saco). The underwater soundscape was sampled in 19 lakes, 17 ponds, 20 rivers and 20 streams, brooks and creeks that were grouped into broad categories (brook/creek, pond/lake, and river). Over 7,000 sounds were measured from 2,750 minutes of recording in 173 locations over a five-week period in the spring of 2008. Sounds were classified into major anthropophony (airplane, boat, traffic, train and other noise) and biophony (fish air movement, also known as air passage, other fish, insect-like, bird, and other biological) categories. The three most significant findings in this study are: 1) freshwater habitats in the New England region of North America contain a diverse array of unidentified biological sounds; 2) fish air movement sounds constitute a previously unrecognized important component of the freshwater soundscape, occurring at more locations (39%) and in equal abundance than other fish sounds; and 3) anthropogenic noises dominate the soundscape accounting for 92% of the soundscape by relative percent time. The high potential for negative impacts of the anthropophony on freshwater soundscapes is suggested by the spectral and temporal overlap of the anthropophony with the biophony, the higher received sound levels of the anthropophony relative to the biophony, and observations of a significant decline in the occurrence, number, percent time, and diversity of the biophony among locations with higher ambient received levels. Our poor understanding of the biophony of freshwater ecosystems, together with an apparent high temporal exposure to anthropogenic noise across all habitats, suggest a critical need for studies aimed at identification of biophonic sound sources and assessment of potential threats from anthropogenic noises.
... geophysical sources), biological sounds (invertebrates, fish and marine mammals) and human-generated noises (e.g. shipping, construction, oil and gas exploration) [8][9][10][11][12]. Natural sounds collected using PAM, especially those from vocal animals, can be used as proxies to learn about the diversity of species, habitat quality, the phenology of biological events and the health of fish and shellfish stocks [13]. ...
... Scientists interested in using fish sound types as units for single species monitoring, as well as for monitoring the health of vocal fish communities, face different challenges, such as: i) lack of standardized nomenclature for fish sound types, ii) reliance on the use of onomatopoeic names, iii) limited knowledge about most of the sound types recorded in natural habitats and iv) limited knowledge of the range of variability of fish sound types within a single species (e.g. vocal repertoire) [12,[29][30][31]. Efforts to create a more uniform and objective sound nomenclature and to increase our knowledge on fishes' acoustic repertoire are therefore warranted. ...
Article
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Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) is a non-intrusive and cost-effective method capable of providing high-resolution, long-term information on the status and health of vocal populations and communities. To successfully monitor the same species over wide geographical and temporal scales, it is necessary to characterise the range of sound variability, as well as the consistency of sound features between populations. The meagre (Argyrosomus regius, Asso 1801) is an interesting case study because recent investigations suggest a wider vocal repertoire than previously described. In this study, meagre vocalizations were recorded and analysed from a variety of settings, ranging from rearing facilities to wild populations to provide a comprehensive characterisation of its vocal repertoire, while investigating the consistency of spawning sound features between populations. All sounds presented a similar acoustic structure in their basic unit (i.e. the pulse), while an important variability was found in the number of pulses; the meagre can emit sounds made of one single pulse or many pulses (up to more than 100). High level of overlap in the Principal Component Analysis made difficult to differentiate sound type clusters. Despite this, two sound types were identifiable: knocks (sounds from 1 to 3 pulses) and long grunts (sounds with more than 29 pulses). Discriminant Analysis carried out on PCA residuals showed that knock had the highest proportion of correct placement (92% of the observations correctly placed) followed by long grunts (80%). All other previously described sound types (intermediate grunt, short grunt and disturbance sounds) could not be separated and presented low levels of correct placement, suggesting that care should be taken when defining these as independent sound types. Finally, acoustic features consistency was found in meagre grunts emitted by different populations during spawning nights; statistical differences could be explained by recording settings and fish conditions. The results of this study provide important information for fostering PAM programs of wild meagre populations, while contributing to the discussion PLOS ONE
... The aquatic biophony includes sounds produced by invertebrates (e.g., Iversen et al. 1963;Coquereau et al. 2016;Gottesman et al. 2020), frogs (Brunetti et al. 2017), turtles (e.g., Giles et al. 2009), fish (e.g., Kasumyan 2008;Bolgan et al. 2018b), birds (Thiebault et al. 2019), and mammals (e.g., Klinck et al. 2012;Dey et al. 2019). The freshwater biophony is not well described and so, sounds frequently cannot be linked to specific species (Rountree et al. 2019;Gottesman et al. 2020;Putland and Mensinger 2020). This lack of knowledge currently impedes the full utilization of freshwater soundscape studies as an ecological tool (Linke et al. 2020). ...
Chapter
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Soundscapes have been likened to acoustic landscapes, encompassing all the acoustic features of an area. The sounds that make up a soundscape can be grouped according to their source into biophony (sounds from animals), geophony (sounds from atmospheric and geophysical events), and anthropophony (sounds from human activities). Natural soundscapes have changed over time because of human activities that generate sound, alter land-use patterns, remove animals from natural settings, and result in climate change. These human activities have direct and indirect effects on animal distribution patterns and (acoustic) behavior. Consequently, current soundscapes may be very different from those a few hundred years ago. This is of concern as natural soundscapes have ecological value. Losing natural soundscapes may, therefore, result in a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The study of soundscapes can identify ecosystems undergoing change and potentially document causes (such as noise from human activities). Methods for studying soundscapes range from listening and creating visual (spectrographic) displays to the computation of acoustic indices and advanced statistical modeling. Passive acoustic recording has become an ecological tool for research, monitoring, and ultimately conservation management. This chapter introduces terrestrial and aquatic soundscapes, soundscape analysis tools, and soundscape management.
... In addition, we know more about the sounds of endangered or commercially important species than those of commonly encountered species (Luczkovich et al., 2008;Popper and Hawkins, 2019). This knowledge gap has impeded effective use of underwater soundscapes in monitoring marine biodiversity, but much information on acoustic ecology can still be gleaned from categorized sound types of unknown origin (Le Bot et al., 2015;Rountree et al., 2019;Bertucci et al., 2020;Bolgan et al., 2020a;Di Iorio et al., 2021). A library to archive unknown sounds and their recording times and locations will be crucial for guiding future studies of marine bioacoustics and biodiversity. ...
Article
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Aquatic environments encompass the world’s most extensive habitats, rich with sounds produced by a diversity of animals. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an increasingly accessible remote sensing technology that uses hydrophones to listen to the underwater world and represents an unprecedented, non-invasive method to monitor underwater environments. This information can assist in the delineation of biologically important areas via detection of sound-producing species or characterization of ecosystem type and condition, inferred from the acoustic properties of the local soundscape. At a time when worldwide biodiversity is in significant decline and underwater soundscapes are being altered as a result of anthropogenic impacts, there is a need to document, quantify, and understand biotic sound sources–potentially before they disappear. A significant step toward these goals is the development of a web-based, open-access platform that provides: (1) a reference library of known and unknown biological sound sources (by integrating and expanding existing libraries around the world); (2) a data repository portal for annotated and unannotated audio recordings of single sources and of soundscapes; (3) a training platform for artificial intelligence algorithms for signal detection and classification; and (4) a citizen science-based application for public users. Although individually, these resources are often met on regional and taxa-specific scales, many are not sustained and, collectively, an enduring global database with an integrated platform has not been realized. We discuss the benefits such a program can provide, previous calls for global data-sharing and reference libraries, and the challenges that need to be overcome to bring together bio- and ecoacousticians, bioinformaticians, propagation experts, web engineers, and signal processing specialists (e.g., artificial intelligence) with the necessary support and funding to build a sustainable and scalable platform that could address the needs of all contributors and stakeholders into the future.
... Unfortunately, the application of PAM is limited by the paucity of archived data on fish sounds (Rountree et al., 2002;Rountree et al., 2018a). For example, of the approximately 400 fish species in British Columbia waters, only 22 have been reported to "vocalize" in large part because sound production has been investigated in so few species (Wall et al., 2014). ...
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Increasing interest in the acquisition of biotic and abiotic resources from within the deep sea (e.g. fisheries, oil-gas extraction, and mining) urgently imposes the development of novel monitoring technologies, beyond the traditional vessel-assisted, time-consuming, high-cost sampling surveys. The implementation of permanent networks of seabed and water-column cabled (fixed) and docked mobile platforms is presently enforced, to cooperatively measure biological features and environmental (physico-chemical) parameters. Video and acoustic (i.e. optoacoustic) imaging are becoming central approaches for studying benthic fauna (e.g. quantifying species presence, behaviour, and trophic interactions) in a remote, continuous, and prolonged fashion. Imaging is also being complemented by in situ environmental-DNA sequencing technologies, allowing the traceability of a wide range of organisms (including prokaryotes) beyond the reach of optoacoustic tools. Here, we describe the different fixed and mobile platforms of those benthic and pelagic monitoring networks, proposing at the same time an innovative roadmap for the automated computing of hierarchical ecological information of deep-sea ecosystems (i.e. from single species abundance and life traits, to community composition, and overall biodiversity)
... Acoustic recorders equipped with hydrophones in place of, or in addition to in-air microphones have become a staple of marine mammal research (e.g., Best et al. 1998) and are widely used to study marine and freshwater fishes (Luczkovich et al. 2008;Rountree et al. 2019). Several researchers have used hydrophones to record underwatercalling frogs in both the field (MacTague and Northern 1993; Dutilleux and Curé 2020) and laboratory (Hannigan and Kelley 1986). ...
Article
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Amphibians are declining and disappearing worldwide at an alarming rate, emphasizing the need for accurate surveys to document the distribution and abundance of this imperiled taxon. Automated recorders are a powerful tool for surveyors to continuously monitor for calling amphibians. We are discovering, however, that many species of frogs call when submerged underwater, making it challenging if not impossible for terrestrial observers to use microphones to detect them. Here, we conducted two field experiments to assess the efficacy of hydrophones for detecting underwater frog calls. We designed the first to directly compare detection probability of underwater frog calls by hydrophones, microphones, and human observers. We designed the second to evaluate the wetland characteristics that most influenced the detection distance of hydrophones. We found that hydrophones were 30 times more likely to detect underwater calls relative to microphones and 8.5 times more likely relative to human observers. Hydrophones detected underwater frog calls emitted 65 m away and performed best when water was deep (> 50 cm) and there were few submerged obstacles (i.e., logs) present. Hydrophones may be an important tool for herpetologists to survey for a suite of frog species known to vocalize underwater and, as more practitioners use hydrophones, the list of underwater-calling frogs is certain to grow.
... Recent reviews drawing focus to freshwater-specific (Greenhalgh et al. 2020) and underwater soundscape-and fish-specific research (Lindseth and Lobel 2018) suggest that this is true internationally too. It has been suggested that well-informed soundscape scale research is becoming increasingly relevant with the growing anthropogenic influence on their freshwater and marine environments (Nabi et al. 2018;Duarte et al. 2021), and our understanding and interpretation of underwater soundscape-focused studies would greatly benefit from more comprehensive species-specific acoustic descriptions (Parmentier and Fine 2016;Rountree et al. 2018). ...
Article
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Bioacoustics has emerged as a useful method of data collection and analysis for diverse animals in a wide range of environments and has helped to describe, monitor, and conserve some of Africa’s species biodiversity. However, little is known about how much it contributes to the continent’s research corpus. We report results from a systematic review of bioacoustics applications in Africa that summarises the current state of the field and identifies research opportunities. Using keyword searches of bibliographic databases, scanning reference lists, and placing appeals to the bioacoustics community in Africa we identified 727 publications between 1953 and mid-2020. We documented variables ranging from publication type and author affiliation, geographic location, biome and habitat, biological groups, and research type. Most (69%) studies were focused on animal behaviour, with terrestrial species (88.6%), particularly mammals, substantially outweighing research on freshwater (4.8%) and marine (6.6%) habitats. The majority (74.3%) of authors who have contributed to this body of knowledge were non-African affiliates. Our review suggests that bioacoustics research in Africa has considerable room to expand institutionally, taxonomically, and thematically. We highlight the need and potential for more locally driven research and provide a roadmap for future bioacoustics applications across the continent.
... The use of acoustic indicators to monitor coral reefs [8] is another example of research on PAM in the aquatic environment. In another vein, Rountree et al. [9] highlighted the importance of acoustic monitoring in freshwater, an area in which there are many research gaps to be explored. ...
Article
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Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is a noninvasive technique to supervise wildlife. Acoustic surveillance is preferable in some situations such as in the case of marine mammals, when the animals spend most of their time underwater, making it hard to obtain their images. Machine learning is very useful for PAM, for example to identify species based on audio recordings. However, some care should be taken to evaluate the capability of a system. We defined PAM filters as the creation of the experimental protocols according to the dates and locations of the recordings, aiming to avoid the use of the same individuals, noise patterns, and recording devices in both the training and test sets. It is important to remark that the filters proposed here were not intended to improve the accuracy rates. Indeed, these filters tended to make it harder to obtain better rates, but at the same time, they tended to provide more reliable results. In our experiments, a random division of a database presented accuracies much higher than accuracies obtained with protocols generated with PAM filters, which indicates that the classification system learned other components presented in the audio. Although we used the animal vocalizations, in our method, we converted the audio into spectrogram images, and after that, we described the images using the texture. These are well-known techniques for audio classification, and they have already been used for species classification. Furthermore, we performed statistical tests to demonstrate the significant difference between the accuracies generated with and without PAM filters with several well-known classifiers. The configuration of our experimental protocols and the database were made available online.
... Although fish acoustic communication has been known since the time of Aristotle (Lobel et al., 2010), it has been estimated that, at the present rate of examination, it would take two thousand years just to survey the incidence of acoustic communication in all known freshwater fish species in Europe and North America (Rountree, Bolgan, & Juanes, 2019). In coastal areas, where fish PAM has historically received most of the attention, the majority of the recorded fish sound types remain to be identified at the specific level (Desiderà et al., 2019;Lobel et al., 2010). ...
Article
Covering more than 65% of the Earth surface, the deep sea (200–11,000 m depth) is the largest biotope on Earth, yet it remains largely unexplored. The biology of its communities is still poorly understood, and many species are still to be discovered. Despite this, deep‐sea fish are already threatened by our exploitation and their conservation is hampered by a severe scarcity of data. Studies focusing on fish acoustic communication are receiving growing attention in coastal areas as they provide useful information to different fields, ranging from behaviour, ecology, wild population monitoring, biodiversity assessment, fisheries and aquaculture management. Modern non‐invasive techniques such as passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can provide high‐resolution, long‐term and large spatial scale information on populations and ecosystem dynamics in otherwise not accessible environments. Although acoustic communication of deep‐sea fish is still poorly documented, many deep‐sea species are likely to emit sounds as they possess the required anatomical structures. Here we suggest that monitoring deep‐sea fish vocal communication might help to better understand their diversity, ecology and dynamics. Emerging technologies based on PAM have the potential to provide a holistic view of the importance of acoustic communication for deep‐sea fish and, ultimately, to inform us about essential aspects for their management and protection.
... Considering that H. dactylopterous is a commercial species, further investigations in this sense are strongly encouraged. It must be considered that even in environments that have been acoustically investigated for longer periods of time than underwater canyons (e.g., coastal areas), a huge proportion (if not the majority) of sound types remains to be identified (Rountree et al., 2018a). Considering that fish acoustic communication has never been investigated in Mediterranean underwater canyons, it is not surprising that nine out of ten potential sound occurrences could not be identified at the species level. ...
Article
Although several bioacoustics investigations have shed light on the acoustic communication of Mediterranean fish species, the occurrence of fish sounds has never been reported below 40 m depth. This study assessed the occurrence of fish sounds at greater depths by monitoring the soundscape of a Mediterranean submarine canyon (Calvi, France) thanks to a combination of Static Acoustic Monitoring (three stations, from 125 to 150 m depth, 3 km from coastline) and of hydrophone-integrated gliders (Mobile Acoustic Monitoring; from 60 to 900 m depth, 3–6 km from coastline). Biological sounds were detected in 38% of the audio files; ten sound types (for a total of more than 9.000 sounds) with characteristics corresponding to those emitted by vocal species, or known as produced by fish activities, were found. For one of these sound types, emitter identity was inferred at the genus level (Ophidion sp.). An increase of from 10 to 15 dB re 1 lPa in sea ambient noise was observed during daytime hours due to boat traffic, potentially implying an important daytime masking effect. This study shows that monitoring the underwater soundscape of Mediterranean submarine canyons can provide holistic information needed to better understand the state and the dynamics of these heterogeneous, highly diverse environments. VC 2020 Acoustical Society of America. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0001101
... This number is growing as new fish sounds are being described (Wilson et al., 2004;Riera et al., 2018;Rountree et al., 2018). Despite these efforts, the capacity for sound production remains to be investigated for the majority of fish species (Rountree et al., 2002(Rountree et al., , 2019. ...
Article
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Sablefish sounds, named rasps, were recorded at two captive facilities in British Columbia and Washington State. Rasps consisted of highly variable broadband trains of 2 to 336 ticks that lasted between 74 and 10 500 ms. The 260 rasps that were measured contained frequencies between 344 and 34 000 Hz with an average peak frequency of 3409 Hz. The frequency structure of ticks within rasps was highly variable and included both positive and negative trends. This finding makes sablefish one of the few deep-sea fish for which sounds have been validated and described. The documentation of sablefish sounds will enable the use of passive acoustic monitoring methods in fisheries and ecological studies of this commercially important deep-sea fish.
... While they could not link the sounds to species, they had reference recordings of some of the families at their site in Australia's tropical savanna and were thus able to at least to link them to the family level. The fish reference recordings were established by underwater video, a strategy advocated for all underwater habitats (Rountree et al., 2019) and recently tested in the marine realm by Mouy, Rountree, Juanes and Dosso (2018). The paper by Linke, Decker, et al. (2020) also highlights the need to identify other sources and levels of sound, such as gas exchange (in their case methane bubbling from the sediment) and river flow. ...
Article
• Applications in bioacoustics and its sister discipline ecoacoustics have increased exponentially over the last decade. However, despite knowledge about aquatic bioacoustics dating back to the times of Aristotle and a vast amount of background literature to draw upon, freshwater applications of ecoacoustics have been lagging to date. • In this special issue, we present nine studies that deal with underwater acoustics, plus three acoustic studies on water‐dependent birds and frogs. Topics include automatic detection of freshwater organisms by their calls, quantifying habitat change by analysing entire soundscapes, and detecting change in behaviour when organisms are exposed to noise. • We identify six major challenges and review progress through this special issue. Challenges include characterisation of sounds, accessibility of archived sounds as well as improving automated analysis methods. Study design considerations include characterisation analysis challenges of spatial and temporal variation. The final key challenge is the so far largely understudied link between ecological condition and underwater sound. • We hope that this special issue will raise awareness about underwater soundscapes as a survey tool. With a diverse array of field and analysis tools, this issue can act as a manual for future monitoring applications that will hopefully foster further advances in the field.
... Burbot (Lota lota) have a wide repertoire of vocalizations, from slow knocks (< 500 Hz, < 1 s) to a complex hum (< 1000 Hz, < 10 s) (Cott et al., 2014). 87 freshwater species have been reported to produce sounds in North America and Europe over the last 200 years, accounting for 5% of known freshwater fish species (Rountree et al., 2019). In this study, 26 unique sounds were recorded between 100 and 2000 Hz that maybe biological in origin, based on lower frequencies as all were < 1500 Hz and had a limited durations < 1 s, although sources were unknown. ...
Article
Monitoring freshwater ecosystems using passive acoustics is a largely unexplored approach, despite having the potential to yield information about the biological, geological and anthropogenic activity of a lake or river system. The state of Minnesota, located in the upper Midwest of the USA and nicknamed ‘land of 10,000 lakes’, provides an interesting case study for soundscape research, because lakes offer ecological, recreational and economic value throughout the area. The underwater soundscape was monitored at fifteen small lakes <10 km² on representative days in winter (during 100% ice cover) and summer 2018 using a hydrophone suspended 2 m below the water's surface. Median broadband sound pressure level (100–12,000 Hz) was significantly lower in winter (57.2 dB re 1μPa) compared to summer (66.7 dB re 1μPa), possibly because low frequency wind sounds were reduced in winter. Recordings suggest small freshwater lakes in Minnesota have a relatively pristine soundscape, where vocalizing aquatic animals may hold acoustic niches. However, sound from anthropogenic activity was also present in the study lakes. Ice auger and motorboat sound increased the intensity of the soundscape by 10 dB and overlapped the frequency range (300–1000 Hz) of biological sounds in the environment, that may be important to aquatic life. Understanding current baseline sound levels in ecologically significant freshwater lakes, like those in this study, is the first step in determining any potential consequences of anthropogenic sound. Moving forward, baseline sound levels provide vital evidence for scientists and governing bodies to make proactive decisions for soundscape conservation.
... The use of PAM can be particularly valuable for territorial species such as round goby. Using PAM does require that the species of interest produce at least incidental sounds (Rountree, Bolgan, & Juanes, 2019) but round goby males reliably vocalise during spawning (Rollo, Andraso, Janssen, & Higgs, 2007), making them a viable target for this approach. ...
Article
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Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can be a powerful tool to survey populations of soniferous species in natural settings. Using PAM allows monitoring of behaviour and activity unobtrusively to get a more accurate assessment of behavioural responses than traditional techniques. The use of PAM can also be beneficial for behaviourally cryptic species or other taxa that might be missed by more traditional sampling methods. To quantify seasonality of reproduction in an aquatic invasive species and to assess possible interactions between both abiotic and biotic noise and acoustic ecology, we deployed multiple hydrophones to fully characterise the acoustic behaviour of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), a highly invasive species. We also aimed to quantify levels of anthropogenic noise around the goby communities. We tested correlations of round goby calling rates with overall noise levels and the presence of boat traffic as direct tests of the hypothesised role of noise on natural acoustic behaviour of fish. Round goby showed a clear diel patterning of calling behaviour, with the highest activity during the night and ceasing at midday; supporting the importance of acoustic—as opposed to visual—signalling for mate attraction. Calls also allowed us to pinpoint spawning areas for possible remediation. We saw no correlation between measures of background noise and calling behaviour or presence of boats and calling, suggesting that increased levels of noise have no effect on the natural calling behaviour of this species. Passive acoustic monitoring of round goby calling behaviour is a promising technique for those interested in remediation of this highly invasive species, as it can be difficult to quantify population levels by more conventional means. The lack of noise effects we see suggests that noise from recreational boats does not disrupt signalling in this species with limited hearing range, although more investigation is needed to ascertain whether noise could be a stressor in other contexts.
... The most extensive and well known of them is the Macaulay Library hosted at Cornell University. These sound archives are also valuable tools to share species specific sounds; however, too few freshwater sounds are available in existing archives Rountree, Bolgan, & Juanes, 2018). ...
Article
Biodiversity in freshwater habitats is decreasing faster than in any other type of environment, mostly as a result of human activities. Monitoring these losses can help guide mitigation efforts. In most studies, sampling strategies predominantly rely on collecting animal and vegetal specimens. Although these techniques produce valuable data, they are invasive, time‐consuming and typically permit only limited spatial and temporal replication. There is need for the development of complementary methods. As observed in other ecosystems, freshwater environments host animals that emit sounds, either to communicate or as a by‐product of their activity. The main freshwater soniferous groups are amphibians, fish, and macroinvertebrates (mainly Coleoptera and Hemiptera, but also some Decapoda, Odonata, and Trichoptera). Biophysical processes such as flow or sediment transport also produce sounds, as well as human activities within aquatic ecosystems. Such animals and processes can be recorded, remotely and autonomously, and provide information on local diversity and ecosystem health. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an emerging method already deployed in terrestrial environments that uses sounds to survey environments. Key advantages of PAM are its non‐invasive nature, as well as its ability to record autonomously and over long timescales. All these research topics are the main aims of ecoacoustics, a new scientific discipline investigating the ecological role of sounds. In this paper, we review the sources of sounds present in freshwater environments. We then underline areas of research in which PAM may be helpful emphasising the role of PAM for the development of ecoacoustics. Finally, we present methods used to record and analyse sounds in those environments. Passive acoustics represents a potentially revolutionary development in freshwater ecology, enabling continuous monitoring of dynamic bio‐physical processes to inform conservation practitioners and managers.
... 77 Unfortunately, the application of PAM is limited by the paucity of archived data on fish sounds. 78,79 For example, of the approximately 400 fish species in British Columbia waters, only 22 have been reported to "vocalize" in large part because sound production has been investigated in so few species. 80 This is especially true in the deep sea, where fish sounds have rarely been studied despite the fact that many species possess sonic muscles presumably used in vocalization. ...
Article
Increasing interest in the acquisition of biotic and abiotic resources from within the deep sea (e.g. fisheries, oil-gas extraction, and mining) urgently imposes the development of novel monitoring technologies, beyond the traditional vessel-assisted, time-consuming, high-cost sampling surveys. The implementation of permanent networks of seabed and water-column cabled (fixed) and docked mobile platforms is presently enforced, to cooperatively measure biological features and environmental (physico-chemical) parameters. Video and acoustic (i.e. optoacoustic) imaging are becoming central approaches for studying benthic fauna (e.g. quantifying species presence, behaviour, and trophic interactions) in a remote, continuous, and prolonged fashion. Imaging is also being complemented by in situ environmental-DNA sequencing technologies, allowing the traceability of a wide range of organisms (including prokaryotes) beyond the reach of optoacoustic tools. Here, we describe the different fixed and mobile platforms of those benthic and pelagic monitoring networks, proposing at the same time an innovative roadmap for the automated computing of hierarchical ecological information of deep-sea ecosystems (i.e. from single species’ abundance and life traits, to community composition, and overall biodiversity).
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Freshwater ecoacoustics is an emerging field that involves underwater audio recordings to detect the presence, location, and density of species in noninvasive and unbiased ways. Conducted long-term, ecoacoustics provides information on biophysical changes and environmental patterns that can advance freshwater conservation. River Listening is an interdisciplinary research project exploring the possibilities of freshwater ecoacoustics in the conservation and management of global river systems. The project works at the intersection of art and science by investigating the cultural and biological diversity of freshwater ecosystems through real-time listening and underwater recording used for biodiversity monitoring and public engagement. We use noninvasive recording techniques with accessible hydrophone kits and participatory workshops to engage local communities in the process and outcomes. The resulting database of hydrophone recordings is used for ongoing scientific research and diverse creative projects disseminated worldwide. The artistic outcomes from River Listening are central to our public engagement efforts, which include mobile phone applications with soundscapes triggered by GPS along rivers as well as live-streaming hydrophone arrays. These artistic projects have assisted in the advancement of scientific recording techniques and ecoacoustic methods. In this article, we introduce the foundations of River Listening and acknowledge a series of artists who have pioneered the use of hydrophone recording for both scientific and artistic purposes. The integration of art and science is further explored through a case study of our workshops and sound walks that have become the core public engagement tool for River Listening. We argue that interdisciplinary approaches are critical to the emerging field of freshwater ecoacoustics and call for further collaborations between artists, scientists, and communities to record and share the soundscapes of freshwater ecosystems.
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Conventional methodologies used to estimate biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems can be nonselective and invasive, sometimes leading to capture and potential injury of vulnerable species. Therefore, interest in noninvasive surveying techniques is growing among freshwater ecologists. Passive acoustic monitoring, the noninvasive recording of environmental sounds, has been shown to effectively survey biota in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. However, knowledge of the sounds produced by freshwater species is relatively scarce. Furthermore, little is known about the representation of different freshwater taxonomic groups and habitat types within the literature. Here we present results of a systematic review of research literature on freshwater bioacoustics and identify promising areas of future research. The review showed that fish are the focal taxonomic group in 44% of published studies and were studied primarily in laboratory aquaria and lotic habitats. By contrast, lentic habitats and other taxonomic groups have received relatively little research interest. It is particularly striking that arthropods are only represented by 26% of studies, despite their significant contributions to freshwater soundscapes. This indicates a mismatch between the representation of taxonomic groups within the freshwater bioacoustic literature and their relative acoustic contribution to natural freshwater soundscapes. In addition, the review indicates an ongoing shift from behavioral studies, often with focus on a single taxonomic group, towards field‐based studies using ecoacoustic approaches. On the basis of this review we suggest that future freshwater bioacoustics research should focus on passive acoustic monitoring and arthropod sound, which would likely yield novel insights into freshwater ecosystem function and condition. This article is categorized under: Water and Life > Nature of Freshwater Ecosystems Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness Water and Life > Methods Fish are the focal study species in the majority of freshwater bioacoustic studies, which often focus on a single species that is recorded in laboratory aquaria. Despite their significant contributions to soundscape composition and ecosystem function, arthropods were poorly represented in the research literature. Lentic habitats have also received little research interest, despite their significant ecological value.
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The soundscape composition of freshwater habitats is poorly understood. Our goal was to document the occurrence of biological sounds in a large variety of freshwater habitats over a large geographic area. The underwater soundscape was sampled in freshwater habitat categorized as brook/creek, pond/lake, or river, from five major river systems in North America (Connecticut, Kennebec, Merrimack, Presumpscot, and Saco) over a five-week period in the spring of 2008. Over 7,000 sounds were measured from 2,750 minutes of recording in 173 locations, and classified into major anthropophony (airplane, boat, traffic, train and other noise) and biophony (fish air movement, also known as air passage, other fish, insect-like, bird, and other biological) sound categories. Anthropogenic noise dominated the soundscape of all habitats averaging 15 % of time per recording compared to less than 2 % for biological sounds. Anthropophony occurred in 79 % of recordings and was mainly due to traffic and boat sounds, which exhibited significant differences among habitats and between non-tidal and tidal river regions. Most biophonic sounds were from unidentified insect-like, air movement fish, and other fish sound sources that occurred in 57 % of recordings. Mean frequencies of anthropogenic noises overlapped strongly with the biophony, and comparisons of spectra suggest that insect-like and air movement sounds may be more susceptible to masking than other fish sounds. There was a significant decline in biodiversity and biophony with increasing ambient sound levels. Our poor understanding of the biophony of freshwater ecosystems, together with an apparent high temporal exposure to anthropogenic noise across all habitats, suggest a critical need for studies aimed at identification of biophonic sound sources and assessment of potential threats from anthropogenic noises.
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We sought to describe sounds of some of the common fishes suspected of producing unidentified air movement sounds in soundscape surveys of freshwater habitats in the New England region of North America. Soniferous behavior of target fishes was monitored in real time in the field in both natural and semi-natural environments by coupling Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) with direct visual observation from shore and underwater video recording. Sounds produced by five species including, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus, Clupeidae), white sucker (Catastomus commersonii, Catostomidae), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis, Salmonidae), brown trout (Salmo trutta, Salmonidae), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Salmonidae) were validated and described in detail for the first time. In addition, field recordings of sounds produced by an unidentified salmonid were provisionally attributed to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar, Salmonidae). Sounds produced by all species are of the air movement type and appear to be species specific. Our data based on fishes in three distinct orders suggest the phenomenon may be more ecologically important than previously thought. Even if entirely incidental, air movement sounds appear to be uniquely identifiable to species and, hence, hold promise for PAM applications in freshwater and marine habitats.
Method
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Lots of people ask me about PAM sampling methods so I put together excerpts from various seminars to provide tips to anyone new to the field that is interested in recording fish sounds, and habitat soundscapes, in the field.
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We conducted a preliminary passive acoustic survey of the occurrence of freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, in the New York State Canal System (NYSCS) to demonstrate the usefulness of underwater sound monitoring in invasive species studies. Data from known populations of freshwater drum in Dale Hollow Reservoir and J. Percy Priest Lake in Tennessee and Lake Champlain in New York were used to validate freshwater drum call characteristics. Similar to more well studied marine members of the Sciaenidae, freshwater drum calls are composed of highly variable trains of 1–119 knocks call⁻¹ (mean = 25 knocks call⁻¹), a mean knock period of 33 knocks s⁻¹, mean peak frequency of 400 Hz, and mean duration of 0.8 s. The occurrence of drum chorus calls at many locations within the NYSCS indicates likely spawning throughout the system, and suggests the possibility that individuals have invaded the Hudson River from native populations of Lake Champlain, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. We point out that the species has been excluded from the east coast of North America throughout history by geographic barriers, and it would have been impossible for the species to gain entrance to the Hudson without the NYSCS, or direct introduction, and thus it is a true invasive which will likely have a dramatic impact on the Hudson River ecosystem. We suggest that freshwater drum most likely also invaded Lakes Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca through the NYSCS. We conclude that passive acoustic surveys are a highly effective non-invasive tool to monitor the distribution of soniferous invasive organisms in aquatic systems, and promise to be especially useful in documenting the future spread of freshwater drum in the Hudson River system. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10530-017-1419-z
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full version: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09524622.2017.1286262 The aims of this study were to (i) assess the efficacy of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) for detecting Arctic Charr at their spawning grounds and (ii) characterize the overall acoustic soundscape of these sites. PAM was carried out over three Arctic Charr spawning grounds in the UK, one lotic and two lentic. 24-h cycles of recordings were collected prior to and during the Arctic Charr spawning season, which was determined from data returns by simultaneous net monitoring. Acoustic analysis consisted of manual quantification of sound sources, Acoustic Complexity Index (ACI) calculation and spectral analysis in 1/3 octave band (SPL; dB re 1 μPa). In the lotic spawning ground, prior to the beginning of Arctic Charr spawning, SPL and ACI showed a restricted range of variation throughout the 24-h, while during spawning the night values of SPL and ACI were found to significantly increase, concurrently with the rate of gravel noise induced by fish spawning activities and fish air passage sounds. Both prior to and during the Arctic Charr run, the lentic soundscape was characterized by diel variation due to the daytime presence of anthropogenic noise and the night-time presence of insect calls, while only a few occurrences of fish air passage sounds and gravel noise were recorded. These findings suggest that PAM over Arctic Charr spawning grounds could provide meaningful information to be used in developing management plans for this threatened species, such as determining the location and time of arrival, diel pattern and length of spawning activities
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Fish sounds are known to be species-specific, possessing unique temporal and spectral features. We have recorded and compared sounds in eight piranha species to evaluate the potential role of acoustic communication as a driving force in clade diversification. All piranha species showed the same kind of sound-producing mechanism: sonic muscles originate on vertebrae and attach to a tendon surrounding the bladder ventrally. Contractions of the sound-producing muscles force swimbladder vibration and dictate the fundamental frequency. It results the calling features of the eight piranha species logically share many common characteristics. In all the species, the calls are harmonic sounds composed of multiple continuous cycles. However, the sounds of Serrasalmus elongatus (higher number of cycles and high fundamental frequency) and S. manueli (long cycle periods and low fundamental frequency) are clearly distinguishable from the other species. The sonic mechanism being largely conserved throughout piranha evolution, acoustic communication can hardly be considered as the main driving force in the diversification process. However, sounds of some species are clearly distinguishable despite the short space for variations supporting the need for specific communication. Behavioural studies are needed to clearly understand the eventual role of the calls during spawning events.
Article
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Fishes have evolved the largest diversity of sonic organs among vertebrates. The main group of sound producing mechanisms is based on the swimbladder. These can be vibrated by intrinsic drumming muscles located in the wall of the swimbladder (toadfishes, searobins), or by extrinsic drumming muscles, which originate on structures such as the skull, vertebral processes or body wall musculature. Extrinsic drumming muscles insert either directly on the swimbladder (e.g. pimelodid catfish, tiger perches) or vibrate the swimbladder indirectly either via broad tendons (piranhas, drums) or via bony plates (elastic springs in doradid, mochokids and ariid catfishes). Pectoral sound-producing mechanisms include vibration of the pectoral girdle (sculpins), rubbing of the enhanced pectoral spine in a groove of the shoulder girdle (catfishes), and plucking of enhanced fin tendons (croaking gouramis). In addition, sounds can be produced by other morphological structures such as dorsal fin spines, neck vertebrae and pharyngeal teeth grating. In a few taxa, such as catfishes, two different sound-producing mechanisms (swimbladder and pectoral) are present simultaneously. In several other well-known vocalizing taxa (damsel fishes, gobies, loaches) the mechanisms remain unidentified. Sound-generating mechanisms may be similarly developed in males and females (croaking gourami) or sexually dimorphic, in which case they are always better developed in males. In toadfishes males possess a relatively higher sonic muscle mass than females, whereas in some drum species muscles are totally absent in females. In the midshipman Porichthys notatus, territorial males possess larger sonic muscles than parasitic sneaker males, which steal fertilizations. In drums sonic musculature hypertrophies seasonally, a process apparently controlled by the hormone testosterone.
Article
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Male Codoma ornata produce sounds associated with aggression and spawning activities during the breeding season. Females do not produce sounds. Males most often produced sounds associated with escalated displays of aggression, courtship and the spawning act. C. ornata spawn in crevices, but previously were reported to spawn as egg-clusterers in cavities. Structurally, sounds are low frequency, vary in duration according to context and are not harmonic. The mechanism of sound production is unknown.
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As an ecologist interested in observing the behavior of marine animals in their natural environment, there appears to be a disconnect between the technology industry and the needs of ecologists. Basically, ecologists often have to settle for technologies developed for scientists/users from other disciplines, getting what could be called "hand-me-down" technology …"hand-me-down" not in the sense of its being old or used, but rather just not quite what the ecologist wants. First they are often limited to a single observation modality. There are many types of observations I may want to make underwater in support of behavioral studies (e.g., spawning), ecological studies (e.g., census of populations or species assemblages), habitat mapping (e.g., percent coverage of a habitat type), etc. In nature there are many ways, or modalities, in which humans or other animals can observe their environment. Humans are highly biased towards visual observations that correspond to optic technologies. Another important way to make observations is through hearing, which translates to acoustic technology. Other ways to observe nature have rarely been translated into observational technologies: chemoreception (smell and taste), mechanoreception (complex of related senses, including equilibrium and balance, touch or tactile, "distance-touch", and hearing), electroreception (detection of electric fields), and magnetoreception (detection of magnetic fields). The development of observational technologies designed to emulate human sensory systems and observational strategies will become increasingly important in the coming decades and will greatly enhance our understanding of underwater ecosystems.
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We conducted a preliminary study of the reproductive behaviour and soniferous activity of the striped cusk-eel, Ophidion marginatum. Three female (225-263 mm TL) and six male (160-193 mm TL) cusk-eels were held in a flow-through tank under ambient conditions from 22 July - 22 September 1989. Cusk-eels remained burrowed during the day and emerged at sunset at the onset of courtship and spawning behaviour. All spawning was completed within 2-h after sunset. Eggs were encased in a clear gelatinous mass that gradually expanded until breaking up after about 24 hours. Eggs hatched in 36 hours. The male cusk-eels produced croaking sounds before and during courtship and spawning. Calling was often initiated while cusk-eels were still partially or entirely burrowed. Sounds consisted of 1-27 pulses between 500 and 1800 Hz. These sounds have previously been described as "chatter" from field recordings and were mistakenly attributed to the weakfish, Cynoscion regalis. Field recordings of cusk-eel choruses were made during August and September 2000. Calling began just before sunset and subsided within 2-h after sunset in agreement with our laboratory observations. Also see http://www.fishecology.org/soniferous/ophidion.htm
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We recorded underwater vocalizations of captive and wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to assess variability in acoustic structure of their sounds and to test hypotheses regarding the importance of specific acoustic traits in individual distinctiveness and in certain behavioral contexts. Manatees use vocalizations to maintain contact when in groups. The highest rates of vocalizing occur during antiphonal calling between females and calves. Vocalizations are complex, single-note calls with multiple harmonics, frequency modulations, nonharmonically related overtones, and other nonlinear elements. We measured 6 acoustic variables and found that individuals varied significantly in fundamental frequency, emphasized band, frequency range, and call contour (the overall pattern of complexity in frequency modulation). These traits did not vary within individuals on different dates or when manatees were alarmed and fleeing. Individual fundamental frequencies ranged from 1.75 to 3.90 kHz, and were negatively correlated with body size. Little sound energy occurred above 18 kHz in 502 call notes of 6 captive manatees sampled with a recording oscilloscope. Presence of harmonics and call duration differed by date and manatees emitted longer calls when fleeing disturbance. Call duration varied from 118 to 643 ms (geometric mean = 271 ms, 95% confidence limits = 264, 279 ms) in a sample of 479 vocalizations we recorded from 14 individuals. The maximum call duration recorded over the entire study was 900 ms. Females and calves responded only to each others' vocalizations when rejoining a group after brief separations, strongly suggesting individual recognition by sound. Structural complexity in the calls of manatees is similar to that in other sirenians, and may reflect their auditory capabilities and the unique physical properties of sound in shallow water.
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Passive acoustics is a rapidly emerging field of marine biology that until recently has received little attention from fisheries scientists and managers. In its simplest form, it is the act of listening to the sounds made by fishes and using that information as an aid in locating fish so that their habitat requirements and behaviors can be studied. We believe that with the advent of new acoustic technologies, passive acoustics will become one of the most important and exciting areas of fisheries research in the next decade. However, a widespread lack of familiarity with the technology, methodologies, and potential of passive acoustics has hampered the growth of the field and limited funding opportunities. Herein, we provide an overview of important new developments in passive acoustics together with a summary of research, hardware, and software needs to advance the field.
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Many fishery biologists that are interested in documenting fish habitat and following the movements and behavior of fishes use acoustic tags. Because over 700 fish species naturally produce low-frequency, species-specific sounds, these can be used as natural acoustic tags. Passive acoustic approaches (monitoring sound-producing fishes with hydrophones) show great promise for gathering data in a noninvasive and continuous manner. In this special section, authors review past studies and contribute new findings based on the concept of passive acoustics, in which the sounds produced by fish are used to identify the species present and quantify their relative abundance. Fish have long been known to produce low-frequency sounds, especially members of the families Sciaenidae, Gadidae, Ictaluridae, Cyprinidae, Batrachoididae, Haemulidae, Lutjanidae, and Serranidae. Passive acoustic methods include the use of low-frequency hydrophones, digital recorders, autonomous recording sonobuoys and data loggers, and towed hydrophone arrays to record fish sounds. The sounds of fishes that have been recorded so far have been described in monographs, scientific papers, and online digital libraries; in most cases, the recordings are species specific and can be used to identify fish. Work is progressing in using the passive acoustic approach along with traditional fisheries sampling methods (net and active acoustic surveys) to identify habitat use, spawning areas, and relative abundances. The authors in this special section present new passive acoustics-derived data on sciaenids, batrachoidids, and ictalurids. They outline the methods currently being used and discuss their limitations, provide examples where passive acoustics has been employed successfully, warn of pitfalls in interpreting acoustic data, and lay the groundwork for future studies.
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Although soniferous fishes have been studied in many different parts of the world, very few studies have been conducted in North American freshwater systems. The purpose of this study was to catalog and identify types of underwater sounds in the Hudson River, New York. We recorded underwater sounds with an autonomous underwater listening system consisting of a hydrophone, digital sound recorder, and weatherproof housing. Approximately 164 h of recordings were made from two sites located along the Hudson River during 2003. One site was located near the mouth of the river on Manhattan Island. The second site was located 153 km upriver within Tivoli Bays at the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Additional manned recordings and sound auditioning of captured fishes were conducted in 2004 to identify biological and unknown sounds from Tivoli Bays. In all, we recorded 62 different sounds. Only four sounds could be identified to fish species: Oyster toadfish Opsanus tau, striped cusk-eel Ophidion marginatum, brown bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus, and channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus. An additional 21 sounds were categorized as biological, 5 as nonbiological, and 32 as unknown. We believe that many of the sounds classified as biological and unknown are in fact produced by fishes but could not be identified due to the scarcity of studies on the sound production of freshwater and estuarine fishes of the Hudson River. Future research focused on the identification of these unknown underwater sounds will provide new insights into the ecology of the Hudson River. The diversity of underwater sounds we recorded in the Hudson River strongly suggests that sound production is an important behavior in aquatic systems and that passive acoustics can be an important new tool for the study of the river's ecology.
Article
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There is increasing interest in the potential of passive acoustics as a tool to study temporal and spatial distribution patterns, habitat use, and spawning, feeding, and predator avoidance behaviors of fishes. However, one of the primary limitations to more widespread use of passive acoustics in studies of fish ecology is the lack of well documented, and readily available, sound references. This has led to our efforts to recover and make available a digital copy of tapes of fish sounds that originally accompanied the landmark book "Sounds of Western North Atlantic Fishes" by Marie Fish and William Mowbray. They examined over 220 species from 59 families, and found biological sounds from 153 species from 36 families. The creation and distribution of a CD of fish sounds is the first step in a larger effort to rescue over 3 decades of sounds recorded at the Narragansett Marine Laboratory (Now the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island), as well as other historical data, and establish a National Archive of Fish Sounds at Cornell University. In this presentation we provide audio samples of fish sounds from the CD and present a summary of ongoing efforts to create the National Archive. For more information also see: http://www.fishecology.org/soniferous/soundposter.htm Also refer to the raw excel file containing detailed inventory data in the supplementary resources associated with this publication
Article
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I performed playback trials with and recorded vocalizations of male Pickerel Frogs, Rana palustris, in 1992–1993 and 1998–2000 at sites in Delaware and Pennsylvania. I also conducted a mark-recapture study of one population throughout its 1998 breeding season at the Ashland Nature Center, Delaware. Rana palustris had a prolonged breeding season with chorusing occurring over more than one month on nights that the air temperature was at least 8°C. Individual males during the breeding season participated in most choruses, were faithful to specific calling sites, and lost body mass. In the playback trials, I recorded male vocalizations during control conditions and after the playback of one conspecific advertisement call. Males had a complex vocal repertoire consisting of at least three call types: an advertisement call and two additional calls (“snicker” and “growl”) that were elicited by the playback stimulus or exchanged during natural male-male interactions. The three call types had distinct combinations of duration and pulse rate, and the snicker and growl had similar dominant frequencies that were significantly lower than those of the advertisement call. All males in the playback trials eventually returned to advertisement calling; however, these calls differed from the calls emitted during the control period in that they had shorter durations, longer rise times, and a shift of energy toward lower frequencies. Several males responded to the stimulus by emitting a series of underwater calls before returning to the water's surface and calling into the air. Overall, R. palustris has a complex communication system in terms of number of call types, the ability to alter call properties, and the ability to vocalize in both air and underwater.
Article
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Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), as well as many other sturgeons, frequently jump out of the water. It is not known why they jump and expend energy during their non-feeding residency in freshwater rivers, but many explanations have been proposed. In the present study, it is hypothesized that jumping is a form of group communication that serves to maintain group cohesion. Information was collected on seasonal and diurnal temporal patterns of jumping at a known sturgeon aggregation holding area; jumping sounds were recorded and analyzed to test this hypothesis. Jumping was found to vary seasonally, with number of jumps every 0.5 h much higher in June than during other months in which observations were made ( April, May, August, and September in 2000 and 2001). Over 1000 jumps per day were recorded in a short (0.8 km) stretch ( at river kilometer 61) of the Suwannee River in northwestern Florida. Jumping activity peaked near dawn and to a lesser degree near sunset in months other than June. The June jumping rate ( jumps per 0.5 h) did not show a distinct dawn peak, although it was lowest during midday. Jumping sounds were recorded on a digital video/audio recorder attached to a hydrophone. Video images of sturgeon jumps were used to register specific sounds with specific components of the jumping action. Sonograms of sturgeon jumping sounds were compared and found to be distinct and different from sounds of other fish jumping or from objects dropped into the water for comparative purposes. These results are consistent with the hypothesis ( but not to the exclusion of other hypotheses) that jumping is a form of communication.
Chapter
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Two important goals in studying the biology of fishes are to detect and enumerate the fish and to define where the fish are to be found. Locating and counting fish is difficult, but defining and mapping a fish’s habitat can be even more daunting. A fish’s habitat is the physical, chemical, geological and biological environment in which it resides or migrates through and includes the pelagic (open water), benthic (on or in the sea floor), and demersal (on or near the sea floor) realms. With the continuing loss of estuarine and coastal habitats it is especially critical to seek out the waters and substrates that are necessary as spawning, nursery and feeding areas for fishes. In the United States, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Public Law 94-265, as amended through October 11, 1996 calls for direct action to stop or reverse the loss of fish habitat and requires the identification of “essential fish habitat” (Section 305 of the Act). In a wider context, the wish to promote conservation through the establishment of marine protected areas also requires the identification of habitats of managed, threatened, and endangered species. Investigating the distribution of fish is especially difficult because fish can rarely be seen and counted underwater. Fisheries trawl or net surveys can provide an overall picture of fish distribution, but are destructive of the species being surveyed. One of the greatest challenges to the study of fish populations is the ability to collect data over large spatial scales and to study behavior for long periods of time, without intruding upon the lives of these animals. Two uses of acoustics have been developed for studying fish populations and behavior. Active acoustics uses sound generated actively by transducers and the acoustic scattering properties of fish to image individual fishes and populations of fishes. Passive acoustics relies on listening to the sounds produced by fishes with a hydrophone to infer their distribution and behavior. For passive acoustics to be useful a fish must make a sound, thus this technique is limited to species that produce sounds and to the times and places where they produce them. These techniques have typically been used independently, depending on the situation and goals of the study. This chapter reviews each of these technologies and
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The results of experimental investigations of acoustic activity of schooling physostomous fish are discussed, made with reference to chum salmon, pink salmon, Pacific herring, and sardine. Dynamic spectra of most investigated fish are concentrated within two subranges of frequency, according to each investigated fish species. Direct participation of the swimming bladder in sound formation in the investigated fish is shown. Morphological traits of sound-producing organs of salmons and herrings are considered. Mechanisms of generation of signals in physotmous fish involving the muscular sphincter and swimming bladder are analyzed.
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Sound production has been recently discovered in several species of Acipenser. Our work has focused on testing for sound production in species of sturgeon in the genus Scaphirhynchus. We discovered that pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus and shovelnose sturgeon, S. albus produce sounds during the breeding season. These signals may be used as part of efforts to localize populations of sturgeon in the field, including the Alabama sturgeon, S. suttkusi.
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To communicate at long range, animals have to produce intense but intelligible signals. This task might be difficult to achieve due to mechanical constraints, in particular relating to body size. Whilst the acoustic behaviour of large marine and terrestrial animals has been thoroughly studied, very little is known about the sound produced by small arthropods living in freshwater habitats. Here we analyse for the first time the calling song produced by the male of a small insect, the water boatman Micronecta scholtzi. The song is made of three distinct parts differing in their temporal and amplitude parameters, but not in their frequency content. Sound is produced at 78.9 (63.6-82.2) SPL rms re 2.10(-5) Pa with a peak at 99.2 (85.7-104.6) SPL re 2.10(-5) Pa estimated at a distance of one metre. This energy output is significant considering the small size of the insect. When scaled to body length and compared to 227 other acoustic species, the acoustic energy produced by M. scholtzi appears as an extreme value, outperforming marine and terrestrial mammal vocalisations. Such an extreme display may be interpreted as an exaggerated secondary sexual trait resulting from a runaway sexual selection without predation pressure.
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Chelodina oblonga is a long-necked, freshwater turtle found predominantly in the wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain of Western Australia. Turtles from three populations were recorded in artificial environments set up to simulate small wetlands. Recordings were undertaken from dawn to midnight. A vocal repertoire of 17 categories was described for these animals with calls consisting of both complex and percussive spectral structures. Vocalizations included clacks, clicks, squawks, hoots, short chirps, high short chirps, medium chirps, long chirps, high calls, cries or wails, hooos, grunts, growls, blow bursts, staccatos, a wild howl, and drum rolling. Also, a sustained vocalization was recorded during the breeding months, consisting of pulse sequences that finished rhythmically. This was hypothesized to function as an acoustic advertisement display. Chelodina oblonga often lives in environments where visibility is restricted due to habitat complexity or poor light transmission due to tannin-staining or turbidity. Thus the use of sound by turtles may be an important communication medium over distances beyond their visual range. This study reports the first records of an underwater acoustic repertoire in an aquatic chelonian.
Article
• Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can be an effective tool in the identification of fishes and mapping of their temporal and spatial distribution patterns and thereby aids in ecosystem management in remote locations. However, to date measurements of the acoustic properties of piranha have been primarily made in aquaria on captive specimens obtained through the aquarium trade. Data on the sound production of wild piranha taken under natural field conditions would enhance PAM applications. • Piranha captured as part of routine annual monitoring by Operation Wallacea within the Pacaya–Samiria National Reserve in Peru were auditioned for sound production prior to release. Auditioning was done by gently holding a fish underwater in the river near a suspended hydrophone, thus recordings included the piranha sound as well as natural ambient sound. • Seventy‐nine per cent of the 129 auditioned piranha, including Pygocentrus nattereri, Serrasalmus maculatus, Serrasalmus cf. sanchezi and an unidentified Serrasalmus spp. complex, produced sounds consisting of 2 to 23 barks in a sequential series. Sound production by S. maculatus and S. cf. sanchezi are reported for the first time. Bark characteristics exhibited high variation within bark series of individual fish. Piranha could not be distinguished by single variables but did exhibit significant multivariate differences. The relationship of several variables to fish size also differed significantly among species. Measurements of within‐fish variation and bark series pattern attributes were found to be useful for discrimination of sounds among piranha species. • We demonstrate that closely related species of piranha can be distinguished by their sounds under natural acoustic conditions based on multivariate analyses, suggesting that passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can be an effective tool for ecosystem management in the Amazon. More broadly, our study also suggests (a) the need to report more detailed statistical descriptions of fish sounds, including measures of within‐fish variation, (b) the importance of describing characteristics of sound series produced by fishes in addition to those of individual sound types and (c) the need to deposit museum voucher specimens to anchor specific sounds to specific individuals.
Article
Although many fish are soniferous, few of their sounds have been identified, making passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) ineffective. To start addressing this issue, a portable 6-hydrophone array combined with a video camera was assembled to catalog fish sounds in the wild. Sounds are detected automatically in the acoustic recordings and localized in three dimensions using time-difference of arrivals and linearized inversion. Localizations are then combined with the video to identify the species producing the sounds. Uncertainty analyses show that fish are localized near the array with uncertainties < 50 cm. The proposed system was deployed off Cape Cod, MA and used to identify sounds produced by tautog (Tautoga onitis), demonstrating that the methodology can be used to build up a catalog of fish sounds that could be used for PAM and fisheries management.
Article
full text available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/YasWGUcgU2QgVmcSwiBk/full The aims of this study were to (i) assess the efficacy of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) for detecting Arctic Charr at their spawning grounds and (ii) characterize the overall acoustic soundscape of these sites. PAM was carried out over three Arctic Charr spawning grounds in the UK, one lotic and two lentic. 24-h cycles of recordings were collected prior to and during the Arctic Charr spawning season, which was determined from data returns by simultaneous net monitoring. Acoustic analysis consisted of manual quantification of sound sources, Acoustic Complexity Index (ACI) calculation and spectral analysis in 1/3 octave band (SPL; dB re 1 μPa). In the lotic spawning ground, prior to the beginning of Arctic Charr spawning, SPL and ACI showed a restricted range of variation throughout the 24-h, while during spawning the night values of SPL and ACI were found to significantly increase, concurrently with the rate of gravel noise induced by fish spawning activities and fish air passage sounds. Both prior to and during the Arctic Charr run, the lentic soundscape was characterized by diel variation due to the daytime presence of anthropogenic noise and the night-time presence of insect calls, while only a few occurrences of fish air passage sounds and gravel noise were recorded. These findings suggest that PAM over Arctic Charr spawning grounds could provide meaningful information to be used in developing management plans for this threatened species, such as determining the location and time of arrival, diel pattern and length of spawning activities.
Book
Soundscape Ecology represents a new branch of ecology and it is the result of the integration of different disciplines like Landscape ecology, Bioacoustics, Acoustic ecology, Biosemiotics, etc. The soundscape that is the object of this discipline, is defined as the acoustic context resulting from natural and human originated sounds and it is considered a relevant environmental proxy for animal and human life. With Soundscape Ecology Almo Farina means to offer a new cultural tool to investigate a partially explored component of the environmental complexity. For this he intends to set the principles of this new discipline, to delineate the epistemic domain in which to develop new ideas and theories and to describe the necessary integration with all the other ecological/environmental disciplines. The book is organized in ten chapters. The first two chapters delineate principles and theory of soundscape ecology. Chapters three and four describe the bioacoustic and communication theories. Chapter five is devoted to the human dimension of soundscape. Chapters six to eight regard the major sonic patterns like noise, choruses and vibrations. Chapter nine is devoted to the methods in soundscape ecology and finally chapter ten describes the application of the soundscape analysis. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014. All rights are reserved.
Article
1. A vibrant grunt and a staccato call of sea robins in the Woods Hole area are described. Sounds similar to these can be obtained by manipulation of the air bladder and by stimulation of the nerves to the drumming muscles.2. It is suggested that the sea robin grunt is part of a general alarm reaction, and that the staccato call is related to the breeding behavior of the sea robin. It is suggested that the staccato call may serve as a species recognition device in waters where visibility is relatively poor.3. A method of controlling production of the staccato call is described. Production of the call can be initiated by playing into the water imitations of the call and recordings of the call itself. The calling can be suppressed by playing of signals of 200 to 600 cps, and, less consistently, by playing of signals of 600 cps to 2 kc.4. The results obtained furnish an exception to the general rule that sound production causes only quickened swimming movements of free fishes, and demonstrate the possibility...
Book
IntroductionNon-Biological Sources of Sounds in the SeaPropagation of Sound UnderwaterMarine SoundscapesBiological Noises and HearingBiological Uses of the SoundscapeWhy we Should ListenConclusions References
Article
Sound production in Cyprinodon bifasciatus, a pupfish endemic to the Cuatro Ciénegas basin, Coahuila, México, is documented. The average dominant frequency is 409 Hz, with an average duration of 55 msec. Calls were produced by males during pursuits of conspecifics and cichlids, during territory patrol, while following a female and after spawning. There are differences in call structure between contexts, especially postspawn calls versus pursuit and courtship calls. There may be differences between sites, especially Mojarral Oeste versus Becerra and Churince. Given sound production in this species of Cyprinodon and the related genus Fundulus, it is possible that sound production is more widespread than previously thought in Atherinimorpha. In addition, this is another documentation of sound production in a clear freshwater species indicating that sound production is widespread in clear freshwater fish.
Article
Widespread evidence shows that the modern rates of extinction in many plants and animals exceed background rates in the fossil record. In the present article, I investigate this issue with regard to North American freshwater fishes. From 1898 to 2006, 57 taxa became extinct, and three distinct populations were extirpated from the continent. Since 1989, the numbers of extinct North American fishes have increased by 25%. From the end of the nineteenth century to the present, modern extinctions varied by decade but significantly increased after 1950 (post-1950s mean = 7.5 extinct taxa per decade). In the twentieth century, freshwater fishes had the highest extinction rate worldwide among vertebrates. The modern extinction rate for North American freshwater fishes is conservatively estimated to be 877 times greater than the background extinction rate for freshwater fishes (one extinction every 3 million years). Reasonable estimates project that future increases in extinctions will range from 53 to 86 species by 2050.
Article
An extremely wide variety of fish taxa produce sound. Sound production behavior provides an opportunity to study various aspects of fish biology, such as spawning behavior and habitat selection, in a noninvasive manner. Passive acoustics is an active area of ichthyological research. However, fish bioacousticians have generally not published their research in the fisheries literature. Therefore, fisheries scientists may not be fully aware of progress being made in this field or of potential uses for passive acoustic techniques. In this paper, I discuss the evolutionary, physiological, and behavioral aspects of sound production by fishes; investigate the publication patterns of research on fish sound production; review the literature on the application of passive acoustic methods to fisheries research; and suggest ways of designing passive acoustic surveys to optimize the quantity and quality of information obtained. Passive acoustic methods can be an attractive alternative or supplement to traditional fisheries assessment techniques because they are noninvasive, can be conducted at low cost, and can cover a large study area at high spatial and temporal resolution. However, as in all fisheries surveys, research questions should be defined clearly at the outset and careful planning is necessary to obtain the data required to address those questions.
Article
Underwater ambient noise was investigated in the stream-mouths of Clear, Cub and Pelican Creeks. Noise levels were determined from 0.1 to 10 KHz during periods of high stream discharge and wave action. Minimum noise levels could not be determined due to instrument noise interference. Two noise sources contributed to ambient pressure spectrum levels in the stream-mouths: (1) flow noise and/or bubbles, and (2) surf-beats. The former is mainly composed of frequencies below 4 KHz while the latter is above 5 KHz. Four cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki) sounds were recorded and analyzed. The “thump” sound occurred when fish were alarmed and gave a sudden tail-flip. The principal frequency was 150 Hz in the band from 100 to 200 Hz. The “squawk” sound had principal frequencies in the band from 600 to 850 Hz. The “squeak” sound was infrequent and usually of low intensity. A sound with maximum energy above 2 KHz was created when a trout shifted bottom materials while preparing a redd. The response to low frequency sound was tested with 29 cutthroat trout. The conditioned response technique was applied using shock or light as the unconditioned stimulus. A positive response was not readily obtained. A natural response to sound stimuli was found in six fish with an average upper frequency limit of 443 Hz. Underwater sounds are within the range of fish perception but it was not determined if homing fish recognized or utilized stream noises.
Article
The hearing thresholds of eight fish species from northern Canada were measured using auditory evoked potential techniques. The species with the best hearing was the lake chub Couesius plumbeus, followed by the longnose sucker Catastomus catastomus, both which had relatively sensitive hearing over the frequency range tested from 100 to 1600 Hz. The remaining species (troutperch Percopsis omiscomaycus, nine-spined stickleback Pungitius pungitius, pike Esox lucius, spoonhead sculpin Cottus ricei, burbot Lota lota and broad whitefish Coregonus nasus) all showed most sensitivity to low frequencies ( Keywords: audiogram; evoked potential; freshwater fishes; hearing Document Type: Regular Paper DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01279.x Affiliations: 1: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 101, 5204–50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 1E2 Canada and 2: Department of Biology, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, and Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A. Publication date: January 1, 2007 $(document).ready(function() { var shortdescription = $(".originaldescription").text().replace(/\\&/g, '&').replace(/\\, '<').replace(/\\>/g, '>').replace(/\\t/g, ' ').replace(/\\n/g, ''); if (shortdescription.length > 350){ shortdescription = "" + shortdescription.substring(0,250) + "... more"; } $(".descriptionitem").prepend(shortdescription); $(".shortdescription a").click(function() { $(".shortdescription").hide(); $(".originaldescription").slideDown(); return false; }); }); Related content In this: publication By this: publisher In this Subject: Zoology By this author: Mann ; Cott ; Hanna ; Popper GA_googleFillSlot("Horizontal_banner_bottom");
Article
Sound production of 11 Mediterranean goby species, belonging to five different genera, have been comparatively analysed on the basis of the quantitative properties of the acoustic signal emitted by the male in both the reproductive and aggressive context. The results obtained showed that three groups of species can be recognized on the basis of signal similarity: the larger sized species (genus Padogobius and Gobius paganellus) producing tonal sounds, showing high values of pulse rate and low values of duration; the larger-sized species producing grunt sounds (genus Gobius and Zosterisessor) with low pulse rate and low duration; and the small-sized species producing grunt sounds (genus Pomatoschistus and Knipowitschia) with low pulse rate and high duration. The comparison between these results and those found in previous studies suggests congruence between the acoustic affinities among species and that obtained by means of morphological and genetic data. Furthermore, first hypotheses on the evolution of acoustic communication and the associated mechanisms in this fish group are suggested. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 93, 763–778.
Article
Aquatic river habitat types have been characterized and classified for over five decades based on hydrogeomorphic and ecological variables. However, few studies considered the generation of underwater sound as a unique property of aquatic habitats, and therefore as a potential information source for freshwater organisms. In this study, five common habitat types along 12 rivers in Switzerland (six replicates per habitat type) were acoustically compared. Acoustic signals were recorded by submerging two parallel hydrophones and were analysed by calculating the energetic mean as well as the temporal variance of ten octave bands (31·5 Hz–16 kHz). Concurrently, each habitat type was characterized by hydraulic and geomorphic variables, respectively. The average relative roughness, velocity-to-depth ratio, and Froude number explained most of the variance of the acoustic signals created in different habitat types. The average relative roughness predominantly affected middle frequencies (63 Hz–1 kHz), while streambed sediment transport increased high-frequency sound pressure levels (2–16 kHz) as well as the temporal variability of the recorded signal. Each aquatic habitat type exhibited a distinct acoustic signature or soundscape. These soundscapes may be a crucial information source for many freshwater organisms about their riverine environment. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Underwater soundscapes have probably played an important role in the adaptation of ears and auditory systems of fishes throughout evolutionary time, and for all species. These sounds probably contain important information about the environment and about most objects and events that confront the receiving fish so that appropriate behavior is possible. For example, the sounds from reefs appear to be used by at least some fishes for their orientation and migration. These sorts of environmental sounds should be considered much like "acoustic daylight," that continuously bathes all environments and contain information that all organisms can potentially use to form a sort of image of the environment. At present, however, we are generally ignorant of the nature of ambient sound fields impinging on fishes, and the adaptive value of processing these fields to resolve the multiple sources of sound. Our field has focused almost exclusively on the adaptive value of processing species-specific communication sounds, and has not considered the informational value of ambient "noise." Since all fishes can detect and process acoustic particle motion, including the directional characteristics of this motion, underwater sound fields are potentially more complex and information-rich than terrestrial acoustic environments. The capacities of one fish species (goldfish) to receive and make use of such sound source information have been demonstrated (sound source segregation and auditory scene analysis), and it is suggested that all vertebrate species have this capacity. A call is made to better understand underwater soundscapes, and the associated behaviors they determine in fishes.
Article
A field study examined sound production in the pygmy sculpin Cottus paulus, a threatened species found only in Coldwater Spring (Coosa River drainage), Alabama where the study was conducted. Two distinct call types are made during both courtship and agonistic encounters: a single knock and a knock train. The duration of the knock train significantly differs between contexts, while the signal structure stays the same. Knock trains are longer when the intended audience is a female, while short and abrupt when intended for a male intruder.
Article
Changes in habitat acoustics over the year can potentially affect fish hearing and orientation to sound, especially in temperate climates. This is the first study where year-round changes in ambient noise in aquatic habitats were assessed. Seven different European fresh-water habitats were chosen for this study. Sound pressure level (SPL) and spectral composition of the ambient noise varied in both quiet stagnant habitats (lakes, backwaters) and in flowing habitats (streams, rivers). Linear equivalent SPL (L(Leq, 60s)) tended to be lower in stagnant habitats (means: 91.6-111.7 dB) than in flowing habitats (means: 111.2-133.4 dB). The changes in SPL were smallest in the river (means: 4.2-4.4 dB, maxima: 8.5-10.1 dB), whereas significantly higher values were measured in stagnant habitats and the stream (means: 9.9-14.9 dB, maxima: 25.1-30.9 dB). The spectral compositions of the ambient noise determined at different times of the year were highly correlated to each other at the river sites (mean cross-correlation coefficients: 0.85 and 0.94) and were weaker or not correlated at the other study sites (means: 0.24-0.76). The changes in ambient noise spectra were negatively correlated to changes in SPL, indicating that large changes in SPLs were accompanied by large changes in spectral composition and vice versa. Comparison of these ecoacoustical data with a preceding study (Amoser and Ladich in J Exp Biol 208:3533-3542, 2005) indicates that the auditory sensitivity in hearing specialists is affected by changes in ambient noise levels and spectra throughout a year and that this effect tends to be more pronounced in stagnant waters and the stream than at river sites. On the other hand, absolute noise levels result in a higher degree of masking in flowing waters.
Article
Otophysine fishes have a series of bones, the Weberian ossicles, which acoustically couple the swimbladder to the inner ear. These fishes have evolved a diversity of sound-generating organs and acoustic signals, although some species, such as the goldfish, are not known to be vocal. Utilizing a recently developed auditory brainstem response (ABR)-recording technique, the auditory sensitivities of representatives of seven families from all four otophysine orders were investigated and compared to the spectral content of their vocalizations. All species examined detect tone bursts from 100 Hz to 5 kHz, but ABR-audiograms revealed major differences in auditory sensitivities, especially at higher frequencies (>1 kHz) where thresholds differed by up to 50 dB. These differences showed no apparent correspondence to the ability to produce sounds (vocal versus non-vocal species) or to the spectral content of species-specific sounds. All fishes have maximum sensitivity between 400 Hz and 1,500 Hz, whereas the major portion of the energy of acoustic signals was in the frequency range of 100-400 Hz (swimbladder drumming sounds) and of 1-3 kHz (stridulatory sounds). Species producing stridulatory sounds exhibited better high-frequency hearing sensitivity (pimelodids, doradids), except for callichthyids, which had poorest hearing ability in this range. Furthermore, fishes emitting both low- and high-frequency sounds, such as pimelodid and doradid catfishes, did not possess two corresponding auditory sensitivity maxima. Based on these results it is concluded that selective pressures involved in the evolution of the Weberian apparatus and the design of vocal signals in otophysines were others (primarily predator or prey detection in quiet freshwater habitats) than those serving to optimize acoustical communication.
Article
The detectability of acoustic signals depends on the hearing abilities of receivers and the prevailing ambient noise in a given habitat. Ambient noise is inherent in all terrestrial and aquatic habitats and has the potential to severely mask relevant acoustic signals. In order to assess the detectability of sounds to fishes, the linear equivalent sound pressure levels (L(Leq)) of twelve European freshwater habitats were measured and spectra of the ambient noise recordings analyzed. Stagnant habitats such as lakes and backwaters are quiet, with noise levels below 100 dB re 1 microPa (L(Leq)) under no-wind conditions. Typically, most environmental noise is concentrated in the lower frequency range below 500 Hz. Noise levels in fast-flowing waters were typically above 110 dB and peaked at 135 dB (Danube River in a free-flowing area). Contrary to stagnant habitats, high amounts of sound energy were present in the high frequency range above 1 kHz, leaving a low-energy "noise window" below 1 kHz. Comparisons between the habitat noise types presented here and prior data on auditory masking indicate that fishes with enhanced hearing abilities are only moderately masked in stagnant, quiet habitats, whereas they would be considerably masked in fast-flowing habitats.
The Cambridge Natural History
  • T W Bridge
Bridge, T.W. 1904. Fishes. Pages 141-650 in S. F. Harmer and A. E. Shipley, editors. The Cambridge Natural History. Macmillan and Co., Limited: London.
The 'soundscape' of the sea, underwater navigation, and why we should be listening more
  • A J R Cotter
Cotter, A. J. R. 2008. The 'soundscape' of the sea, underwater navigation, and why we should be listening more. Advances in Fisheries Science 50:451-471.
Sur la voix des poisons
  • F.-A Moreau
Moreau, F.-A. 1864. Sur la voix des poisons. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris 59:436-438.
Recherches experimentales sur les fonctions de la vessie natatoire
  • F.-A Moreau
Moreau, F.-A. 1876. Recherches experimentales sur les fonctions de la vessie natatoire. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Zoologie 6:1-85.