Abstract Acoustic technology is a common means to study the movements and habitat utilization of aquatic organisms. This study simultaneously assesses the relative importance of a number of major environmental variables affecting the detection range and detection frequency
of acoustic tracking technology in near-shore marine environments. Transmitter power output and diel index in order of relative importance were the most influential variables affecting detection range within a temperate reef habitat. Wave height, transmitter power output, and diel index in
order of relative importance were the most influential variables affecting detection range within the wash zone. Similar models resulted when examining detection frequency at 100 m within the two habitat types. Attention is also drawn to the selection of transmitter power output based upon
the habitat type and environmental conditions of the study site. This study demonstrates the importance of in situ range test studies in array design and interpretation of acoustic telemetry data.
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