A preliminary acoustic evaluation of three sites in the lagoon of Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Abstract

Methods for surveying biodiversity range from rapid biodiversity assessments to full taxonomic inventories. Recently, surveying of biological sounds has been suggested as a means to rapidly quantify ecosystem health and biodiversity as it enables remote, non-intrusive and continuous surveillance of communities at a high temporal resolution. The present study explores the link between two acoustic features, i.e. the sound pressure level and acoustic complexity, of three reef sites on Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia and their biological and physical features, in terms of fish abundance and type of substrate. Sites with a high number of fish appeared to be noisier especially in the low frequencies while sites with more living coral cover presented a higher acoustic complexity. These indices may therefore provide valuable information on different aspects of the biology and ecology of coral reefs. However, some discrepancies in the daily periodicity of both indices remain between sites, highlighting the need to further strengthen the potential of using acoustic surveys in immediate state assessment of ocean ecosystems and better manage coral reef conservation in particular.

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Acknowledgments

Authors would like to thank Pr. ML Fine and an anonymous reviewer for their comments. We also would like to thank all the staff from “Polynésienne des Eaux” in Bora Bora for their help during the field recordings.

Availability of data and material

All acoustic data are fully available with a private link from the Figshare database (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.9798506).

Code availability

Not applicable.

Funding

The monitoring programs were supported by several fundings: Polynésienne des Eaux (project BIODIVBORA), Mairie de Bora Bora, Fondation de France (2019–08602), Ministère de l’Economie verte et du domaine – Délégation de la Recherche de Polynésie française (contrat N3622 MED-EPHE), LabEx CORAIL (project 2018 EMuL), ANR-19-CE34–0006-Manini, ANR-19-CE14–0010-SENSO. Funders played no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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Frédéric Bertucci and David Lecchini contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation and data collection were performed by Frédéric Bertucci, David Lecchini, Vincent Sturny, Eric Blin and Gaston Tong Sang. The data were analysed by Frédéric Bertucci. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Frédéric Bertucci and Ana Sofia Guerra. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Frédéric Bertucci.

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Bertucci, F., Guerra, A.S., Sturny, V. et al. A preliminary acoustic evaluation of three sites in the lagoon of Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Environ Biol Fish 103, 891–902 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-020-01000-8

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Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Coral reefs
  • Ecoacoustics
  • Passive acoustic monitoring