Soundscape of an Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) hotspot before windfarm construction in the Pearl River Estuary, China: Do dolphin engage in noise avoidance and passive eavesdropping behavior?
Soundscapes are vital to acoustically specialized animals. Using passive acoustic monitoring data, the temporal and spectral variations in the soundscape of a Chinese white dolphin hotspot were analyzed. By cluster analysis, the 1/3 octave band power spectrum can be grouped into three bands with median overall contribution rates of 35.24, 14.14 and 30.61%. Significant diel and tidal soundscape variations were observed with a generalized linear model. Temporal patterns and frequency ranges of middle frequency band sound matched well with those of fish vocalization, indicating that fish might serve as a signal source. Dolphin sounds were mainly detected in periods involving low levels of ambient sound and without fish vocalization, which could reflect noise avoidance and passive eavesdropping behaviors engaged in by the predator. Pre-construction data can be used to assess the effects of offshore windfarms on acoustic environments and aquatic animals by comparing them with the soundscape of postconstruction and/or postmitigation.
Wang, Z-T; Akamatsu, T; Nowacek, DP; Yuan, J; Zhou, L; Lei, P-Y; Li, J; Duan, P-X; Wang, K-X; Wang, D
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