Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Anthropogenic sounds negatively impacts a wide range of aquatic organisms, including fish, marine invertebrates, and marine mammals. It is crucial to understand the detailed effects of sound on marine life because it can impair hearing, behavior, and reduce overall fitness of these organisms. To complement field-based research, larval zebrafish were developed as a laboratory model to study the effects of underwater sound exposure on hair cells and physiology. A custom-designed acoustic trauma system utilizing cavitation, creates a powerful underwater broadband signal that damages zebrafish auditory cells in both the inner ear and lateral line. The degree of damage is scalable via adjusting the power input to the system as well as the duration of exposure. This system can be adapted for use with a wide variety of small organisms including different life stages of fish and marine invertebrates. It is also useful to study non-auditory effects on noise-exposed organisms, such as tissue damage, stress, and behavioral changes. In conclusion, this unique system will permit detailed understanding of sound damage in a wide variety of aquatic organisms, further informing the growing body of both field and laboratory research on anthropogenic sound exposure.
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