Effects of low-frequency noise on marine benthic invertebrates

sheng.wang [ at ] awi.de


Low-frequency noise (LFN), or sound waves with frequencies between 10 Hz to 500 Hz, has increased substantially in coastal and shelf waters over the last decades. This is in large part due to the escalation in human activities such as shipping, wind farming, and pile-driving. Concern over how LFN affects marine mammal and fish welfare (eg. foraging efficiency, acoustic communication interference) has led the European Marine Strategy Framework Direction to include noise as a descriptor for achieving “good” environmental status. While the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals and fish are by no means well documented, the effects of such noise on marine benthic invertebrates, crucial ecosystem engineers that continually rework sediment, are even less understood. Here, we present how LFN affects the behavior and sediment reworking activities of select macrobenthic invertebrate species from the North Atlantic in controlled laboratory setups. The polychaete Lanice conchilega, an abundant benthic invertebrate, exhibited behavioral responses to LFN in the form of modified pumping behavior. The amphipod crustacean Corophium volutator was negatively affected by LFN, exhibiting lower bioturbation rates and shallower burial depths compared to controls. The effect of LFN on the polychaete Arenicola marina and the bivalve Limecola balthica remained inconclusive, though A. marina displayed greater variability in bioirrigation rates when exposed to LFN. Benthic macroinvertebrates may be in jeopardy alone with the crucial ecosystem-maintaining services they provide, thus more research is urgently needed to understand, predict, and manage the impacts of anthropogenic noise pollution on marine fauna and their associated ecosystems.

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Event Details
The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life Conference, 10 Jul 2022 - 15 Jul 2022, Berlin, Germany.
Eprint ID
Cite as
Wang, S. V. , Wrede, A. , Van Colen, C. , Tremblay, N. and Beermann, J. (2022): Effects of low-frequency noise on marine benthic invertebrates , The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life Conference, Berlin, Germany, 10 July 2022 - 15 July 2022 .

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