Soundscapes influence the settlement of the common Caribbean coral Porites astreoides irrespective of light conditions. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The settlement of reef-building corals is critical to the survival and recovery of reefs. Recent evidence indicates that coral larvae orient towards reef sound, yet the components of the acoustic environment that may attract coral larvae and induce settlement are unknown. Here we investigated the effects of ambient soundscapes on settlement of Porites astreoides coral larvae using in situ chambers on reefs differing in habitat quality (coral and fish abundance). Mean larval settlement was twice as high in an acoustic environment with high levels of low-frequency sounds, typical of a high-quality, healthy reef; this result was observed in both natural light and dark treatments. Overall, the enhancement of coral settlement by soundscapes typical of healthy reefs suggests a positive feedback where soundscape properties of reefs with elevated coral and fish abundance may facilitate coral recruitment.

publication date

  • December 2018