Special Issue "Effects of Noise and Light on Marine Fauna and Environment"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 4045

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Polar Sciences - National Research Council (ISP-CNR), Rome, Italy
Interests: bioacoustic; noise pollution; marine animal behavior; fisheries; environmental conservation; cetacean acoustic communication; biochemistry; marine animal welfare
The Institute for Marine Biological Resources and Biotechnology of the National Research Council (CNR-IRBIM), Mazara del Vallo, Italy
Interests: ICZM; MSP; environmental assessment; environmental management; life cycle assessment; environmental policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Scientific evidence has confirmed that since the 20th century, several kinds of human and industrial activities have been damaging coastal environments worldwide. Artificial light emitted from anthropized areas overnight and pollution generated by vessel traffic are the most significant and widespread effect of human presence. Artificial light at night is visible from satellites thousands of kilometers away, while noise from moving vessels negatively impacts the marine environment and organisms that inhabit it. A long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors will have to tackle negative externalities generated by these pollutant sources that could reduce the resilience, biodiversity and behaviors of coastal species and habitats.

This Special Issue aims to illuminate current integrative research on the impact of noise and/or light pollution on marine life in terms of assessment of effects and welfare of marine fauna. Research gaps and trends should be identified by original work or reviews.

Dr. Francesco Filiciotto
Dr. Vincenzo Maccarrone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
A Quieter Ocean: Experimentally Derived Differences in Attentive Responses of Tursiops truncatus to Anthropogenic Noise Playbacks before and during the COVID-19-Related Anthropause
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071269 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
The effects of anthropogenic noise continue to threaten marine fauna, yet the impacts of human-produced sound on the broad aspects of cognition in marine mammals remain relatively understudied. The shutdown of non-essential activities due to the COVID-19-related anthropause created an opportunity to determine [...] Read more.
The effects of anthropogenic noise continue to threaten marine fauna, yet the impacts of human-produced sound on the broad aspects of cognition in marine mammals remain relatively understudied. The shutdown of non-essential activities due to the COVID-19-related anthropause created an opportunity to determine if reducing levels of oceanic anthropogenic noise on cetaceans affected processes of sensitization and habituation for common human-made sounds in an experimental setting. Dolphins at Dolphin Quest Bermuda were presented with three noises related to human activities (cruise ship, personal watercraft, and Navy low-frequency active sonar) both in 2018 and again during the anthropause in 2021 via an underwater speaker. We found that decreased anthropogenic noise levels altered dolphin responses to noise playbacks. The dolphins spent significantly more time looking towards the playback source, but less time producing burst pulse and echolocation bouts in 2021. The dolphins looked towards the cruise ship sound source significantly more in 2021 than 2018. These data highlight that different sounds may incur different habituation and sensitization profiles and suggest that pauses in anthropogenic noise production may affect future responses to noise stimuli as dolphins dishabituate to sounds over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Noise and Light on Marine Fauna and Environment)
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Article
Underwater Noise Level Recordings from a Water Intake Pontoon and Possible Impacts on Yangtze Finless Porpoises in a Natural Reserve
Animals 2022, 12(17), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12172183 - 25 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Underwater noise pollution caused by human activities may affect freshwater cetaceans to different degrees. To analyze the impacts of water intake pontoons on Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis), this study collected underwater noise data from such a pontoon in a nature [...] Read more.
Underwater noise pollution caused by human activities may affect freshwater cetaceans to different degrees. To analyze the impacts of water intake pontoons on Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis), this study collected underwater noise data from such a pontoon in a nature reserve, plotted the power spectral density of acoustic signals, and calculated the root mean square sound pressure levels and the magnitude of sound source levels. The 1/3-octave sound pressure level root mean square values at the transient holding pens were <18.0 kHz, 39.5−60.0 kHz, which were slightly higher than the Yangtze finless porpoise hearing threshold curve values and therefore could be perceived. However, the results indicated that the porpoises would not develop a temporary hearing threshold shift. Meanwhile, pontoon noise did not interfere with the porpoises’ high-frequency acoustic signal nor did it affect their echolocation; it significantly interfered with their low-frequency acoustic signal, however, and the mother–child communication of the finless porpoises was affected, but this effect was quickly compensated due to the limited space range of the holding pens. Through this study of Yangtze finless porpoises, this paper provides a reference for assessing whether human facilities have impacts on freshwater cetaceans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Noise and Light on Marine Fauna and Environment)
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