Attraction of settlement-stage coral reef fishes to reef noise

We compared catches of settlement-stage reef fishes in light traps attached to underwater speakers playing reef sounds with those of silent traps during a summer recruitment season at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Of the total 40191 reef fishes we collected, significantly more (67%; Wilcoxon and Binomial tests: p< 0.001) appeared in the traps with broadcast reef noise. Traps deployed with speakers consistently caught a greater diversity of species (Wilcoxon test: p< 0.001, total 81 vs 68) than did silent traps. This study provides a clear demonstration that the settlement-stages of a broad range of families of coral reef fishes are attracted to reef sounds

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