Sound may help heal coral reefs

Science is making quantum leaps in understanding and manipulating nature for its benefit and for ours. But there’s a lot of repair to be done.

Scientists Have Used Loudspeakers To Keep Dead Coral Reefs Healthy

Staff ReporterDec 03, 2019 08:58 AM EST

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

As coral reefs die and turn to be graveyards, loudspeakers through underwater brings new life to the coral reefs.

An article that was recently published from Nature Communications focused on the impact of playing sounds around dead coral reefs. The results were such a pleasant surprise for the undergoing of the coral reefs recovery. The researchers worked on a range of three months, which is from October to December 2017 inside a lagoon in the Great Barrier Reef with a shallow reef that runs along the coastline.

The researchers were not playing rock or classical music, rather the sounds of calming vibrant coral reef ecosystems.

The researchers believe that they can attract adult fishes to the dying coral reefs by playing sounds with a vibrant reef. To be sure that there will be no bias in the coral reefs, the team decided to study areas of dead corals with both speakers and no speakers.

While the reintroduction of fish to coral reefs is not entirely the solution to regrow healthy coral reef ecosystems, it can also help recover the reefs.

In a press release, as stated by a co-author that goes by the name Professor Andy Radford, “If combined with habitat restoration and other conservation measures, rebuilding fish communities in this manner might accelerate ecosystem recovery.”

The introduction of the various groups of fish-which is those who provide different functions in a global ecosystem-is an essential part of maintaining the coral reef ecosystems.

There are different factors on the reason why the death of coral reefs keeps increasing globally. A study was found that in the Florida Keys, the primary reason coral reefs die is because of the nitrogen enrichment from sewage. It was also known that drawing the fish back to the dead coral reefs will not undo the damage by itself. But more than worst coral reefs have a chance in recovering if a huge population of fish is present since it plays an essential part in keeping the coral reefs healthy.

(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

The last component, which is connected to the declining of corals through acidification from the ocean-it is a direct response to more CO2 in the atmosphere. Acidification from the ocean can weaken coral reefs.

Fishes are not the only ones who are attracted to the sounds of the natural environment. Hence, researchers found out that the reason why the sounds of crashing waves, rustling leaves, and such helps us to be relaxed. It is because of the clearness and healthy natural environments which is beneficial for everyone.

Another study led by Tim Gordon, from the University of Exter, stated, “Fish are crucial for coral reefs to function as healthy ecosystems. Boosting fish populations in this way could help to kick-start natural recovery processes, counteracting the damage we’re seeing on many coral reefs around the world.” 

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