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Lobsters with pre-existing damage to their mechanosensory statocyst organs do not incur further damage from exposure to seismic air gun signals


Day, RD and Fitzgibbon, QP and McCauley, RD and Hartmann, K and Semmens, JM, Lobsters with pre-existing damage to their mechanosensory statocyst organs do not incur further damage from exposure to seismic air gun signals, Environmental Pollution, 267 Article 115478. ISSN 0269-7491 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115478


Staotcysts, the mechanosensory organs common to many marine invertebrates, have shown sensitivity to aquatic noise. Previously, rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) from a remote site with little exposure to anthropogenic noise incurred persistent damage to the statocyst and righting reflex following exposure to seismic air gun signals. Here, J.edwardsii collected from a site subject to high levels of anthropogenic noise were exposed to an equivalent seismic air gun signal regime as the previous study of noise-nave lobsters. Following exposure, both control and exposed treatments were found to have damage to the statocyst equivalent to that of noise-nave lobsters following seismic exposure, which led to the conclusion that the damage was pre-existing and not exacerbated by seismic exposure. The source of the damage in the lobsters in this study could not be ascertained, but the soundscape comparisons of the collection sites showed that the noisy site had a 510dB greater level of noise, equivalent to a 310 times greater intensity, in the 10700Hz range than was found at the remote collection site. In addition to the lack of further damage following seismic exposure, no disruption to the righting reflex was observed. Indeed, compared to the noise nave lobsters, the lobsters here demonstrated an ability to cope with or adapt to the mechanosensory damage, indicating a need for better understanding of the ecological impacts of the damage caused by low frequency noise on marine organisms. More broadly, this study raises historical exposure to noise as a previously unrecognised but vitally important consideration for studies of aquatic noise.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seismic, lobster, statocyst, aquatic noise, seismic survey, noise nave
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish physiology and genetics
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught rock lobster
UTAS Author:Day, RD (Dr Ryan Day)
UTAS Author:Fitzgibbon, QP (Associate Professor Quinn Fitzgibbon)
UTAS Author:Hartmann, K (Dr Klaas Hartmann)
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:142981
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2021-02-18
Last Modified:2021-09-30
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