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Home Society Underwater speakers that reproduce the sounds of healthy coral reefs help restore poor coral reefs

Underwater speakers that reproduce the sounds of healthy coral reefs help restore poor coral reefs

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Researchers have found that the sound of healthy and thriving coral reefs can help damaged coral reefs recover. It writes Caretaker.

Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts may have found a way to rebuild damaged coral reefs in the Caribbean. They found that coral larvae are up to seven times more likely to settle on a damaged reef when they hear the sounds of a healthy and prosperous coral reef.

They placed underwater speakers on three reefs off the coast of St. John, the smallest island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and measured how many coral larvae, kept in closed tanks of filtered seawater, settled down to pieces of stoneware in containers. 30 meters from the surface.speakers.

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In only one place did they play the sounds of a thriving reef: the degraded Salt Pond Reef. In their article in the journal Royal Society Open Science the researchers described that, on average, 1.7 times more coral larvae settled on the Salt Pond reef than on other sites where reef sounds were not heard. The further away the speakers were, the fewer larvae settled.

While the results are promising, Nadège Aoki, one of the researchers, says more work needs to be done to understand whether other coral species respond similarly to reef sounds and whether the corals thrive once the larvae settle. “You have to be very careful when applying this technique,” he said. “You don’t want to encourage them to settle in a place where they’re going to die. It really has to be a multi-pronged effort and actions to ensure the survival of these corals and their growth over time.

“We hope to combine this with other efforts to bring good things back to the reef,” says Aoki. “Leaving the speaker out for a period of time can attract not only coral larvae but fish returning to the reef.”

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