Evaluation of the Effects of Human Sound Impacts on Acoustic Diversity in Coral Reefs in Northeastern Brazil

11 Jan 2023 Área de Proteção Ambiental Costa dos Corais, Brazil, Central and Latin America Biodiversity | Corals | Fishes | Habitats | Invertebrates | Marine

Túlio Freire Xavier

Noise pollution is a global concern that has been causing ecological impacts that affect entire communities and ecosystems. Hundreds of fish species are capable of producing sounds and act as important components of the marine acoustic soundscape however, it has been suffering an increasing degree of sound impacts from human activities. Therefore, the present proposal aims to measure the effects of human sound impacts on the acoustic landscapes of coral reefs in north-eastern Brazil.

Representatives of the ichthyofauna from one of the project's recording stations photographer. © Túlio Freire Xavier

Representatives of the ichthyofauna from one of the project's recording stations photographer. © Túlio Freire Xavier

More specifically, (1) observing the different vocalization patterns of the analysed acoustic landscapes; (2) investigating the relationship of marine fish diversity with the acoustic landscape and (3) analysing how physical habitat variables affect reef acoustic diversity. For this, periodic recordings will be carried out over 8 days, using a hydrophone and digital recorder, in multiple places of interest located in the coastal Conservation Unit (UC), the Environmental Protection Area (APA) Costa dos Corais. The local diversity of fish will be analysed from underwater visual censuses, using the strip transect method. Considering the possible influence factors on acoustic diversity, local characteristics such as depth, structural complexity and temperature will be investigated.

The present study aims to provide information that will define the differences between reef acoustic landscapes, in the face of human sound impacts, as well as the collection of data on sound activities in the analysed communities. The application of these methods is expected to contribute to the promotion of works that may use acoustic reef landscapes in Brazil, which may use this work as a baseline for monitoring impacts using acoustic tools.

Header: Installation of underwater recording structure in reef environment. © Luísa Valentim.

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