Vessel noise effects on delphinid communication


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dc.contributor.author Jensen, Frants H.
dc.contributor.author Bejder, Lars
dc.contributor.author Wahlberg, Magnus
dc.contributor.author Aguilar De Soto, Natacha
dc.contributor.author Johnson, Mark P.
dc.contributor.author Madsen, Peter T.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-04T14:51:16Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-04T14:51:16Z
dc.date.issued 2009-12-03
dc.identifier.citation Marine Ecology Progress Series 395 (2009): 161-175 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4542
dc.description Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Marine Ecology Progress Series 395 (2009): 161-175, doi:10.3354/meps08204. en_US
dc.description.abstract Increasing numbers and speeds of vessels in areas with populations of cetaceans may have the cumulative effect of reducing habitat quality by increasing the underwater noise level. Here, we first use digital acoustic tags to demonstrate that free-ranging delphinids in a coastal deep-water habitat are subjected to varying and occasionally intense levels of vessel noise. Vessel noise and sound propagation measurements from a shallow-water habitat are then used to model the potential impact of high sound levels from small vessels on delphinid communication in both shallow and deep habitats, with bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp. and short-finned pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus as model organisms. We find that small vessels travelling at 5 knots in shallow water can reduce the communication range of bottlenose dolphins within 50 m by 26%. Pilot whales in a quieter deep-water habitat could suffer a reduction in their communication range of 58% caused by a vessel at similar range and speed. Increased cavitation noise at higher speeds drastically increases the impact on the communication range. Gear shifts generate high-level transient sounds (peak– peak source levels of up to 200 dB re 1 µPa) that may be audible over many kilometres and may disturb close-range animals. We conclude that noise from small vessels can significantly mask acoustically mediated communication in delphinids and contribute to the documented negative impacts on animal fitness. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the PhD School of Aquatic Sciences (SOAS), Aarhus University, DK, WWF Verdensnaturfonden and Aase & Ejnar Danielsens Foundation, the Siemens Foundation, a research agreement between La Laguna University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Faculty of Science at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and the Danish Natural Science Foundation via a Steno scholarship and frame grants to P.T.M. M.J. and N.A. were funded by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Inter-Research en_US
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08204
dc.subject Acoustic communication en_US
dc.subject Vessel noise en_US
dc.subject Masking en_US
dc.subject Bottlenose dolphins en_US
dc.subject Pilot whales en_US
dc.subject Recreational vessels en_US
dc.subject Whale watching en_US
dc.title Vessel noise effects on delphinid communication en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.3354/meps08204

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