[MARMAM] New Publication on Bearded Seal Response to Noise

Michelle E.H. Fournet therapunzelproject at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 12:17:17 PST 2021


Hello Marmam,

We are pleased to announce the following publication in the Proceedings of
the Royal Society: Biological Sciences.

Limited vocal compensation for elevated ambient noise in bearded seals:
implications for an industrializing Arctic Ocean
Fournet MEH, Silvestri M,Clark CW, Klinck H, Rice AN

Vocalizing animals have several strategies to compensate for elevated
ambient noise. These behaviours evolved under historical conditions, but
compensation limits are quickly being reached in the Anthropocene. Acoustic
communication is essential to male bearded seals that vocalize for
courtship and defending territories. As Arctic sea ice declines, industrial
activities and associated anthropogenic noise are likely to increase.
Documenting how seals respond to noise and identifying naturally occurring
behavioural thresholds would indicate either their resilience or
vulnerability to changing soundscapes. We investigated whether male bearded
seals modified call amplitudes in response to changing ambient noise
levels. Vocalizing seals increased their call amplitudes until ambient
noise levels reached an observable threshold, above which call source
levels stopped increasing. The presence of a threshold indicates limited
noise compensation for seals, which still renders them vulnerable to
acoustic masking of vocal signals. This behavioural threshold and response
to noise is critical for developing management plans for an industrializing
Arctic.

Fournet MEH, Silvestri M,Clark CW, Klinck H, Rice AN. 2021 Limited vocal
compensation for elevated ambient noise in bearded seals: implications for
an industrializing Arctic Ocean. Proc. R. Soc. B 288: 20202712.
https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2712


The paper can be found here:
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2020.2712
Please direct any questions to Michelle Fournet at:
michelle.fournet at cornelle.edu

Cheers!
Michelle
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