Aquatic noise pollution: implications for individuals, populations, and ecosystems

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    Anthropogenically driven environmental changes affect our planet at an unprecedented scale, and are considered to be a key threat to biodiversity. According to the World Health Organisation, anthropogenic noise is one of the most hazardous forms of anthropogenically driven environmental change and is recognised as a major global pollutant. However, crucial advances in the rapidly emerging research on noise pollution focus exclusively on single aspects of noise pollution, e.g. on behaviour, physiology, terrestrial ecosystems or by focusing on certain taxa. Given that more than two thirds of our planet is covered with water, there is a pressing need to get a holistic understanding of the effects of anthropogenic noise in aquatic ecosystems. We found experimental evidence for negative effects of anthropogenic noise on an individual’s development, physiology, and/or behaviour in both invertebrates and vertebrates. We also found that species differ in their response to noise, and highlight the potential underlying mechanisms for these differences. Finally, we point out challenges in the study of aquatic noise pollution and provide directions for future research, which will enhance our understanding of this globally present pollutant.



    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
    Journal publication date17 Aug 2016
    Issue number1836
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2016

    ID: 81868343