Dr. Tricas and Doctoral Student Kelly Boyle - Rebreather Diving and Recording of Fish Sounds on Hawaii Reefs
Research article featured in Marine Ecology Progress Series
More than 600 fish species inhabit the near shore reefs of Hawai'i, but relatively little is known about their ecology, reproduction and seasonal movement patterns. Recent work by Dr. Tim Tricas and doctoral student Kelly Boyle of the Department of Biology have produced the first 'acoustic library' of fish sounds produced by members of a coral reef fish community. The researchers used underwater rebreathers, diving life-support systems that produce no bubbles, to record close-up videos and the sounds produced by 45 different species at Puako Reef, Hawai'i. They discovered that about half of the species in the fish community produced sounds during courtship, spawning, aggressive interactions, defense of nests, feeding or alert behaviors. Sounds from this library can now be used as templates to scan long-term acoustic recordings of the reef 'soundscape' and identify the daily, seasonal and annual behavior patterns of different fish species. This technique may be of value for the remote monitoring of reef fish populations by coral reef managers and conservation biologists.
Link to Marine Ecology Progress Series Feature Article: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v511/feature/
Link to full PDF of Research Article: http://www.hawaii.edu/fishlab/pubs/Tricas%20and%20Boyle%202014.pdf