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Effects of exposure to pile driving sounds on the lake sturgeon, Nile tilapia , and hogchoker


Halvorsen MB, B Casper, F Matthews, TJ Carlson, and AN Popper.  2012.  "Effects of exposure to pile driving sounds on the lake sturgeon, Nile tilapia , and hogchoker."  Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 279(1748):4705-4714.  doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1544

Journal Article


Pile driving and other intense impulsive sound sources have the potential to injure or kill fish. One mechanism that produces injuries from exposure to impulsive sound is the rapid motion of the walls of the swim bladder as it repeatedly contacts nearby tissues. To further understand the involvement of the swim bladder in tissue damage, as well as to gain a broader understanding of potential impacts of impulsive sound sources on fishes, a specially designed wave tube was used to expose three species to pile driving sounds. Species included lake sturgeon with a closed (physostomous) swim bladder, Nile tilapia with an open (physoclistous) swim bladder, and the hogchoker, a flatfish without a swim bladder. There were no visible injuries in any of the exposed hogchokers, while a variety of injuries were observed in the lake sturgeon and Nile tilapia. At the loudest sound exposure level, the Nile tilapia had the highest total injuries and the most severe injuries per fish. As the exposure levels decreased, the number and severity of injuries were more similar between the two species. These results suggest that the presence and type of swim bladder correlated with injury at higher sound levels. Thus, a fish with a physoclistous swim bladder showed more damage as a result of exposure to pile driving sounds at higher sound exposure levels, while the extent of injury at lower sound exposure levels was similar for both kinds of swim bladders.


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