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Patterns of biophonic periodicity on coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef
McWilliam, J.N.; McCauley, R.D.; Erbe, C.; Parsons, M.J.G. (2017). Patterns of biophonic periodicity on coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef. NPG Scientific Reports 7(1): 13 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • McWilliam, J.N.
  • McCauley, R.D.
  • Erbe, C.
  • Parsons, M.J.G.

    The coral reefs surrounding Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef have a diverse soundscape that contains an array of bioacoustic phenomena, notably choruses produced by fishes. Six fish choruses identified around Lizard Island exhibited distinctive spatial and temporal patterns from 2014 to 2016. Several choruses displayed site fidelity, indicating that particular sites may represent important habitat for fish species, such as fish spawning aggregations sites. The choruses displayed a broad range of periodicities, from diel to annual, which provides new insights into the ecology of vocalising reef fish species and the surrounding ecosystem. All choruses were affected by one or more environmental variables including temperature and moonlight, the latter of which had a significant influence on the timing and received sound levels. These findings highlight the utility of passive acoustic tools for long-term monitoring and management of coral reefs, which is highly relevant in light of recent global disturbance events, particularly coral bleaching.

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