MEPS 495:27-38 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10582

Environmental interference factors affecting detection range in acoustic telemetry studies using fixed receiver arrays

Noelle H. Mathies1,*, Matthew B. Ogburn2, Greg McFall3, Sarah Fangman3

1Savannah State University Marine Sciences Program, 3219 College Street, Savannah, Georgia 31404, USA
2Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, 647 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater, Maryland 21037, USA
3Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Georgia 31411, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Historically, acoustic telemetry studies tracking movement of aquatic organisms have lacked rigorous, long-term evaluations of detection range. The purpose of the present study was to identify potential sources of variability in long-term acoustic telemetry data, focusing specifically on environmental variability. The study was conducted for 15 mo in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Georgia, USA, using 2 submersible Vemco VR2W hydrophone receivers and 2 stationary range test transmitters (controls). Tag detections (±1 SE) decreased from 54.2 ± 2.5 to 11.4 ± 0.5 detections d-1 as transmission distance increased from 100 to 300 m. Detections varied seasonally (likely due to stratification), with the direction of flood and ebb tidal currents (12.4 h cycle), and with tidal current speed (6.2 h cycle). Tides explained up to 92% of the short-term variability in hourly detection data. Detections also increased or decreased during episodic weather events depending on the season and type of event. These results suggest that stationary control tags are useful for characterizing variability in sound transmission in open water marine acoustic telemetry studies.


KEY WORDS: Long-term monitoring · Seasonal variation · Signal-to-noise · Time series analysis · Tides · Stratification


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Mathies NH, Ogburn MB, McFall G, Fangman S (2014) Environmental interference factors affecting detection range in acoustic telemetry studies using fixed receiver arrays. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 495:27-38. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10582

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -