Underwater acoustic habitats: towards a toolkit to assess acoustic habitat quality

irene.torrecilla.roca [ at ] hifmb.de


For many aquatic organisms, acoustic cues are the primary source of information about their environment. However, to date, there has been comparatively little research aimed at documenting and comparing the acoustic features of multiple marine habitats. The newly founded Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) in Oldenburg, Germany, has initiated a project to investigate how environmental acoustic features relate to habitat use and variations in behaviour of multiple marine mammal species. The project’s resources include basin-wide passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) data sets from the Southern Ocean spanning 11 years at 20 sites collected by AWI’s Ocean Acoustic Lab. Because these data were obtained in one of the most pristine ocean locations world-wide, this project offers a unique opportunity to analyze habitat acoustics in virtual absence of anthropogenic sound. By drawing from terrestrial research, we aim to adapt and further develop existing metrics on e.g., acoustic complexity to analyze passive acoustic data from the Southern Ocean to develop maps comprehensively describing acoustic assemblage’s composition and the temporal, spectral and spatial characteristics of the underwater acoustic environment. Key elements of the project include assessing variations in the soundscape by location and over time as well as analysing variations in vocalizations of migratory and resident species. A further goal is to develop a comprehensive “toolkit” to assess acoustic habitat quality.

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10 International Conference on Ecological Informatics, 24 Sep 2018 - 28 Sep 2018, Jena, Germany.
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Roca, I. T. and van Opzeeland, I. (2018): Underwater acoustic habitats: towards a toolkit to assess acoustic habitat quality , 10 International Conference on Ecological Informatics, Jena, Germany, 24 September 2018 - 28 September 2018 .

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