Monitoring their soundscape can provide a long term, nonintrusive, inexpensive method for tracking the state of reefs around the world

Media Contact:
Larry Frum
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

DENVER, May 25, 2022 – A healthy coral reef is loud. Like a busy city, the infrastructure leads to more organisms and activity, and more background noise. Every time an invertebrate drags their hard shell over the coral, or a fish takes a bite of its food, they add to the soundscape.

Vocal fish, whales, and dolphins occasionally interrupt with louder grunts and calls. Altogether, the hundreds of thousands of animals living in the reef sound like static on the radio, or the snap, crackle, and pop of a bowl of Rice Krispies as you pour milk on the cereal, when the coral reef is healthy. The sound changes for reefs that are not healthy, becoming quieter and less diverse.

Lauren Freeman, of the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport, will present experiment results of passively acoustically monitoring coral reefs to get a snapshot of their health at the 182nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The presentation, “Coral Reef & Temperate Coastal Soundscape Features Evident in Directional and Omnidirectional Passive Acoustic Time Series,” will take place May 25 at 11:35 a.m. Eastern U.S.

Passive acoustic monitoring of coral soundscapes offers a long-term, nonintrusive, and inexpensive way to track the state of reefs around the world, which are threatened by humanity via fishing, pollution, and climate change.
Compared to healthy reefs, degraded coral communities don’t have as rich or diverse of a soundscape. There tend to be fewer fish calls and more high frequency noise from algae photosynthesizing and releasing bubbles of oxygen, which ring out as they rise through the water.

“There is a natural competition between corals and macroalgae on all coral reefs. In most cases with a dying or degraded reef, the macroalgae is winning and covers a lot more of the surface,” said Freeman. “On a pristine reef, you would see very little macroalgae, and a lot of herbivorous fish that help eat the macroalgae.”

Freeman and her team deployed an acoustic array to monitor reefs off the coast of Hawaii. They compared these results to similar data from Bermuda and New England. Interestingly, Hawaii and Bermuda both showed a characteristic reef evening chorus, where the sound levels increased immediately prior to sunset. The New England reef underwent similar changes near dusk.

“Almost every time I conduct an experiment, we learn more about the complexities and intricacies of ambient biological soundscapes,” said Freeman. “It’s so exciting to continue to discover more about ocean ecosystems.”

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
USEFUL LINKS
Main meeting website: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/
Technical program: https://eventpilotadmin.com/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING22
Press Room: https://acoustics.org/world-wide-press-room/

WORLDWIDE PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Worldwide Press Room will be updated with additional tips on dozens of newsworthy stories and with lay language papers, which are 300 to 500 word summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience and accompanied by photos, audio and video. You can visit the site during the meeting at https://acoustics.org/world-wide-press-room/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
We will grant free registration to credentialed journalists and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, staff at media@aip.org can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

Past Press Releases

Offshore Wind Farms Could Disturb Marine Mammal Behavior

As the number and size of offshore turbines increase, so does the possible disruption to aquatic life.Media Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 26, 2022 – When an offshore wind farm pops up, there is a period of noisy but well-studied and...

Explosions Help Probe Elusive Atmospheric Waves

Infrasound pulses from munitions plant explosions used to study gravity waves, atmospheric eventsMedia Contact: Larry Frum AIP Media 301-209-3090 media@aip.org DENVER, May 25, 2022 – Infrasound waves can probe some of the most complex weather patterns hidden to normal...

Turning Hearing Aids into Noise-Canceling Devices

Assistive listening devices can filter out noise from loudspeakers, improving clarityMedia Contact: Larry Frum AIP Media 301-209-3090 media@aip.org DENVER, May 25, 2022 – People with hearing aids and other assistive listening devices often struggle at crowded events,...

On Mars, NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s Playlist Like No Other

Microphones on the rover capture, characterize sounds from red planet's atmosphereMedia Contact: Larry Frum AIP Media 301-209-3090 media@aip.org DENVER, May 25, 2022 – Since NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars, its two microphones have recorded hours of audio...

Going Virtual Hurts Student Career Prospects

Students less likely to engage with virtual networking events, increasing turnover, burnoutMedia Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 24, 2022 – As in-person scientific meetings and gathering have been replaced by virtual meetings during...

Ultrasound-Assisted Laser Technique Vaporizes Artery Plaque

Method avoids complications from using high-power lasers, extends to other medical applicationsMedia Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 24, 2022 – Atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque, can lead to heart disease, artery disease, and...

Listening Can Be Exhausting for Older Cochlear Implant Users

Aging effects on listening effort in cochlear-implant usersMedia Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 24, 2022 – Degraded acoustic signals can make hearing difficult for anyone, but differences in cognitive abilities, age-related changes,...

Diverse Social Networks Reduce Accent Judgments

Perception in context: How racialized identities impact speech perceptionMedia Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 24, 2022 – Everyone has an accent. But the intelligibility of speech doesn't just depend on that accent; it also depends on...

Sidekick Microbubbles Carry Anti-Cancer Drugs, Damage Tumor Vessels

Ultrasound-stimulated, drug-loaded bubbles for cancer therapyMedia Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 24, 2022 – Microbubbles can assist with localized drug delivery in a patient's body by popping at a target site to create enhanced...

Acoustic Sensors Pinpoint Shooters in Urban Setting

Modeling and optimizing sensor networks for a specific environment will help missions narrow in on shooter locationsMedia Contact:Larry FrumAIP Media301-209-3090media@aip.org DENVER, May 23, 2022 – During a gunshot, two sound events occur: the muzzle blast and the...

Share This