Researchers conducting surveys of an Indonesian reef which has been re-seeded with new corals over the past decade have said that sound recordings show that fish are returning and the reef is ‘coming back to life'.
Scientists from the University of Exeter used underwater microphones to record at the reef site, and said that the sounds – some of which had never been recorded before – provided an audible measure of the health of the coral reef.
Lead researcher Dr Tim Lamont said that the restored reef sounds ‘more like a healthy, thriving reef' after they compared them with recordings from extremely degraded reefs close by.
He explained that the ‘backing track' to the reef was created by snapping shrimp. “That sounds a bit like the static on the radio, or frying bacon. Then, through that sound, you'll occasionally hear little trills, whoops or croaks.”
Dr Lamont said the diversity of the sounds that the marine life produced was ‘as much as the diversity of birdsong', and that the species responsible for many of these unusual sounds remained a mystery.
The results of the survey have been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
Photo credit: Dr Tim Lamont