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Comparison of the effects of reef and anthropogenic soundscapes on oyster larvae settlement
Schmidlin, S.; Parcerisas, C.; Hubert, J.; Watson, M.S.; Mees, J.; Botteldooren, D.; Devos, P.; Debusschere, E.; Hablützel, P.I. (2024). Comparison of the effects of reef and anthropogenic soundscapes on oyster larvae settlement. NPG Scientific Reports 14(1): 12580. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-63322-2
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Sound > Noise (sound) > Underwater noise
Author keywords
    Larvae settlement, Noise pollution, Soundscapes, Settlement cue, Oyster reef ecology

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Watson, M.S.
  • Mees, J., more
  • Botteldooren, D., more
  • Devos, P., more
  • Debusschere, E., more
  • Hablützel, P.I., more

    Settlement is a critical period in the life cycle of marine invertebrates with a planktonic larval stage. For reef-building invertebrates such as oysters and corals, settlement rates are predictive for long-term reef survival. Increasing evidence suggests that marine invertebrates use information from ocean soundscapes to inform settlement decisions. Sessile marine invertebrates with a planktonic stage are particularly reliant on environmental cues to direct them to ideal habitats. As gregarious settlers, oysters prefer to settle amongst members of the same species. It has been hypothesized that oyster larvae from species Crassostrea virginica and Ostrea angasi use distinct conspecific oyster reef sounds to navigate to ideal habitats. In controlled laboratory experiments we exposed Pacific Oyster Magallana gigas larvae to anthropogenic sounds from conspecific oyster reefs, vessels, combined reef-vessel sounds as well as off-reef and no speaker controls. Our findings show that sounds recorded at conspecific reefs induced higher percentages of settlement by about 1.44 and 1.64 times compared to off-reef and no speaker controls, respectively. In contrast, the settlement increase compared to the no speaker control was non-significant for vessel sounds (1.21 fold), combined reef-vessel sounds (1.30 fold), and off-reef sounds (1.18 fold). This study serves as a foundational stepping stone for exploring larval sound feature preferences within this species.

  • Schmidlin, S.; Parcerisas, C.; Watson, M.S.; Hablützel, P.I.; Debusschere, E.; Flanders Marine Institute; Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen; (2024): Sound playback files for oyster Magallana gigas settlement experiment. Marine Data Archive., more

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