Unorthodox: Using Sound To Restore Dead Coral Reef

In Clean Talk, Environment, Innovations, News, Sustainability

British and Australian researchers rolled out another unorthodox strategy they say could help in restoration of dead coral reef.

For their six-week study, scientists used dead coral to build 33 experimental reef patches near the Great Barrier Reef.

For 40 nights, they played the sounds of a healthy reef from underwater loudspeakers positioned near some of the reef patches. To serve as controls, other patches were equipped with dummy speakers or no speakers at all.

Healthy coral reefs are remarkably noisy places — the crackle of snapping shrimp and the whoops and grunts of fish combine to form a dazzling biological soundscape.

According to the study, the number of species present in the reef patches where healthy sounds were played increased by 50 percent over the other patches.

The new fish populations included species from all parts of the food web, such as scavengers, herbivores and predatory fish. Importantly, the fish that arrived at the patches tended to stay there.

The technique, if it can be replicated on larger scales, could offer scientists another tool to revive coral reefs around the world that have been ravaged by climate change, overfishing and pollution in recent years.

Scientists have warned that climate change may already be accelerating too fast for some reefs to recover and that conservation efforts are not keeping pace with the devastation.

Reference- Nature Communications, The Washington Post, Futurism

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