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Ecoacoustics as a novel tool for assessing pond restoration success: Results of a pilot study

Greenhalgh, JA; Stone, HJR; Fisher, T; Sayer, CD; (2021) Ecoacoustics as a novel tool for assessing pond restoration success: Results of a pilot study. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 10.1002/aqc.3605. Green open access

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Abstract

1. Ecoacoustics is increasingly being used to monitor species populations and to estimate biodiversity in marine ecosystems, but the underwater soundscapes of freshwater environments remain largely unexplored in this respect. Few studies exist concerning the acoustic diversity of ponds, but because aquatic plants and many arthropods such as Coleoptera and Hemiptera are known to produce sound, there is potential to use ecoacoustic techniques to monitor changes in biodiversity and conservation value. 2. This pilot study compares the underwater soundscapes of recently restored open-canopy ponds and unmanaged highly terrestrialized ponds situated in an arable agricultural landscape of North Norfolk, UK, in order to assess the benefits of farmland pond restoration. 3. Daytime sound recordings were made for 10 min in each pond and analysed primarily for arthropod stridulations. In addition, six commonly used acoustic indices were calculated to assess the soundscape biodiversity between the unmanaged and the restored ponds. The stridulations of three diving beetle species (Dytiscidae) were recorded in tank studies to assess the potential for individual species recognition from underwater sound capture. 4. Sound-type richness and abundance, as estimated by visually and aurally identifying arthropod stridulation from spectrograms, were significantly higher in the restored open-canopy ponds compared with the unmanaged terrestrialized ponds. In addition, the acoustic indices ‘acoustic complexity’ and ‘biodiversity index’ were significantly higher in restored open-canopy ponds than in unmanaged terrestrialized ponds. 5. The three dytiscid water beetle species recorded in a tank were found to produce distinctive and recognizable sounds, indicating potential to create an audio reference library that could be used for automatic acoustic monitoring of freshwater arthropods. 6. Pond soundscapes are rich in biological information and this study suggests that, with further development, automated passive ecoacoustic monitoring could be an effective non-invasive technique for assessing pond conservation value and pond restoration and management success.

Type: Article
Title: Ecoacoustics as a novel tool for assessing pond restoration success: Results of a pilot study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3605
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3605
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Marine & Freshwater Biology, Water Resources, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, biodiversity estimation, Dytiscidae, freshwater conservation, stridulation, water beetle, BEETLES COLEOPTERA, BIODIVERSITY, DIVERSITY, CONSERVATION, ASSEMBLAGES, SOUNDSCAPE, DYTISCIDAE, MANAGEMENT, REVEALS, INDEXES
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128919
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