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Sounds of the past give new hope for coral reef restoration

Source: exeter.ac.uk

Young fish can be drawn to degraded coral reefs by loudspeakers playing the sounds of healthy reefs, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

An international team of scientists from the UK’s University of Exeter and University of Bristol, and Australia’s James Cook University and Australian Institute of Marine Science, say this “acoustic enrichment” could be a valuable tool in helping to restore damaged coral reefs.

Working on Australia’s recently devastated Great Barrier Reef, the scientists placed underwater loudspeakers playing healthy reef recordings in patches of dead coral and found twice as many fish arrived – and stayed – compared to equivalent patches where no sound was played.

“Fish are crucial for coral reefs to function as healthy ecosystems,” said lead author Tim Gordon, of the University of Exeter. MORE

Header image: A clownfish in an anemone. Credit: Tim Gordon, University of Exeter.

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