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Open Access Passive acoustic monitoring of nocturnal fish sounds in Quintana Roo, Mexico

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The Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) system has major ecological and economic importance, yet faces threats to ecosystem health and is understudied. Current methods for monitoring marine life in the northern MAR system off the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, are inadequate for assessing the nocturnal biology and ecology of fishes, including quantification of abundance and diversity. In the present study, a marine passive acoustic monitoring (MPAM) approach was initiated at a site within the MAR system to characterize localized temporal patterns in fish acoustic behavior. This is the first study to collect data on fish sound production at night in this region. Pulsed fish sounds were a major contributor to the nighttime soundscape and were persistent and low frequency (50–1000 Hz), with a wide range of pulse rates. Fish sounds were more frequent, more persistent, and more diverse at night than during the day. Nocturnally-active fish are a more important part of the local ecosystem than had previously been recognized. Implementation of MPAM in this area has great potential as a long-term fish monitoring technique.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 801 S. 25th Street, Arlington, Virginia 22202;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: April 1, 2017

This article was made available online on March 7, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Passive acoustic monitoring of nocturnal fish sounds in Quintana Roo, Mexico".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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