Con­cert of sound un­der wa­ter

The Weekend Post - - News -

DANIEL BATE­MAN SINGING fish and in­sect or­ches­tras have been recorded in a Far North­ern river, in a world-first study doc­u­ment­ing the bi­o­log­i­cal sounds from a fresh wa­ter en­vi­ron­ment.

Grif­fith Univer­sity re­searchers Dr Si­mon Linke and Emilia Decker led the acous­tic re­search into river health mon­i­tor­ing, record­ing un­der­wa­ter sounds con­tin­u­ously over seven days in two wa­ter­holes in the Ei­nasleigh River, in the state’s north­west.

The re­searchers iden­ti­fied more than 8000 sounds dur­ing the study.

It is the first time in the world that all bi­o­log­i­cal sounds from fish and aquatic in­sects in an un­der­wa­ter lo­ca­tion were iden­ti­fied.

Dr Si­mon Linke said the study demon­strated a new way to log ecosys­tem health au­tonomously 24/7.

“This is the first time that we have per­formed this work sys­tem­at­i­cally,” he said.

“When we started do­ing this work 4-5 years ago, we would put a mi­cro­phone in the wa­ter at gen­eral times and in­ter­vals but never got a con­clu­sive re­sult,” he said.

“What we have found is that, just like above wa­ter, sounds vary dur­ing the day.

“If you ar­rive some­where at a cer­tain time of day, you might miss what you’re in­ter­ested in hear­ing, whether that’s fish or in­sects or change in wa­ter­flow.

“By record­ing 24/7 you get an en­com­pass­ing over­view of life un­der­wa­ter.”

Ms Decker said they found fish were ac­tive through­out the day, but most de­tectable dur­ing the morn­ing.

“This is just like daily rhythms above wa­ter, with bird morn­ing cho­ruses and evening ci­cadas,” she said. “So it’s ba­si­cally a fish cho­rus for break­fast, creek­flow for lunch, and an in­sect orches­tra for din­ner.”

It was con­ducted on the land of the Ewamian Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion.

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