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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 276:263-268 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps276263

Attraction of settlement-stage coral reef fishes to reef noise

S. D. Simpson1,5,*, M. G. Meekan2, R. D. McCauley3, A. Jeffs4

1Department of Biology, University of York, PO Box 373, York YO10 5YW, UK
2Australian Institute of Marine Science, PO Box 40197, Casuarina, Darwin, Northern Territory 8010, Australia
3Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
4National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 109-695, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand
5Present address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK

ABSTRACT: We compared catches of settlement-stage reef fishes in light traps attached to underwater speakers playing reef sounds with those of silent traps during a summer recruitment season at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Of the total 40191 reef fishes we collected, significantly more (67%; Wilcoxon and Binomial tests: p<0.001) appeared in the traps with broadcast reef noise. Traps deployed with speakers consistently caught a greater diversity of species (Wilcoxon test: p<0.001, total 81 vs 68) than did silent traps. This study provides a clear demonstration that the settlement-stages of a broad range of families of coral reef fishes are attracted to reef sounds.

KEY WORDS: Coral reef fishes · Orientation · Sound · Cues · Settlement · Larvae · Light traps

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