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bioacoustics article: Mar. Ecol. Progress Series

Subject: bioacoustics article: Mar. Ecol. Progress Series
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 09:37:27 -0800
to him.
 I would like to announce our latest publication in Marine Ecology Progress 
 (MEPS). It is entitled
 Behavioural reactions of free-ranging porpoises and seals to the noise of
 a simulated 2 MW windpower generator
 MEPS 265: 263-273
 If you want a pdf-copy of the full article, please mail to
 Abstract: Operational underwater noise emitted at 8 m s?1 by a 550 kW
 WindWorld wind-turbine was recorded from the sea and modified to simulate
 a 2 MW wind-turbine. The sound was replayed from an audio CD through a car
 CD-player and a J-13 transducer. The maximum sound energy was emitted
 between 30 and 800 Hz with peak source levels of 128 dB (re 1 µPa2 Hz?1 at
 1 m) at 80 and 160 Hz (1/3-octave centre frequencies). This simulated 2 MW
 wind-turbine noise was played back on calm days (<1 Beaufort) to
 free-ranging harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena and harbour seals Phoca
 vitulina in Fortune Channel, Vancouver Island, Canada. Swimming tracks of
 porpoises and surfacings of seals were recorded with an electronic
 theodolite situated on a clifftop 14 m above sea level. Echolocation
 activity of harbour porpoises close to the sound source was recorded
 simultaneously via an electronic click detector placed below the
 transducer. In total we tracked 375 porpoise groups and 157 seals during
 play-back experiments, and 380 porpoise groups and 141 surfacing seals
 during controls. Both species showed a distinct reaction to wind-turbine
 noise.  Surfacings in harbour seals were recorded at larger distances from
 the sound source (median = 284 vs 239 m during controls; p = 0.008,
 Kolmogorov-Smirnov test) and closest approaches increased from a median of
 120 to 182 m (p < 0.001)  in harbour porpoises. Furthermore, the number of
 time intervals during which porpoise echolocation clicks were detected
 increased by a factor of 2 when the sound source was active (19.6% of all
 1 min intervals as opposed to 8.4% of all intervals during controls; p <
 0.001).These results show that harbour porpoises and harbour seals are
 able to detect the low-frequency sound generated by offshore
 wind-turbines. Controlled exposure experiments such as the one described
 here are a first step to assess the impact on marine mammals of the new
 offshore wind-turbine industry.
 key words: Harbour porpoise · Phocoena phocoena · Harbour seal · Phoca
 vitulina · Noise · Offshore windpower · Environmental assessment
 authors: Sven Koschinski, Boris M. Culik, Oluf Damsgaard Henriksen, Nick
 Tregenza, Graeme Ellis, Christoph Jansen, Günter Kathe
 source: MEPS 265: 263-273
 Sven Koschinski
 Kuehlandweg 12
 24326 Nehmten

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