Fish feel at home with noisy neighbours

Working on the Great Barrier Reef, marine biologists played recordings from different types of habitats next to artificial reefs, and discovered that juvenile fish arrived preferentially at reefs supplemented with noises from their naturally favoured habitat, according to a University of Auckland  statement.

This shows that fish can use acoustic cues to distinguish between different communities and employ this information to select a suitable home, the journal Coral Reefs reports.

This bio-symphony includes signature sounds that comprise clicks, pops, chirps and scrapes produced by resident fish, snapping shrimp, lobsters to give a strong indication of the type of habitat.

"We found that reefs with added noise always attracted more fish than those without," lead author Craig Radford at the University of Auckland said.

"And excitingly, reefs with lagoon noise attracted more coral breams, while reefs with fringing reef noise attracted more damselfish. This maps onto their natural habitat preferences."

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