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Title: The effect of underwater noise pollution on fish
Author: McLaughlin, Kirsty Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 6608
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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Anthropogenic noise is a global pollutant, present in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Due to high species diversity and the characteristics of sound propagation in water, noise pollution in aquatic environments may be more detrimental than in terrestrial environments. Underwater noise affects the behaviour of mammals, fish and invertebrates, with changes to communicative and spatial behaviour among those frequently reported. However, relatively little work examining the effect of underwater noise on reproductive behaviour has been completed. Reproduction is essential for the proliferation of life. Therefore, investigating how anthropogenic noise may affect it is important. I used the biparental species, Amatitlania nigrofasciata, as a model system to study the effect of underwater noise pollution on multiple stages of reproduction. Using playback experiments, I firstly tested the effect of short-term noise on behaviour and then examined the effect of longer-term noise on: (1) pairing behaviour, (2) nest-site selection, (3) parental defence, (4) parental care and (5) reproductive success. I found that both short-term and long-term noise affected behaviour and that behaviour was affected throughout the reproductive cycle. I also established noise as a proximate factor influencing nest-site selection and provide evidence for multiple mechanisms through which noise could affect behaviour. However, behavioural changes in response to noise did not translate into negative consequences for reproductive success. Noise increased parental investment, by increasing parental defence and brood provisioning behaviour. This could reduce the resources parents can invest in subsequent broods. Therefore, noise may affect the reproductive success of future breeding attempts. My findings provide novel insight into how changes to the acoustic environment affect reproductive behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available