Soundscapes from a Tropical Eastern Pacific reef and a Caribbean Sea reef

E. Staaterman, A. N. Rice, D. A. Mann, C. B. Paris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Underwater soundscapes vary due to the abiotic and biological components of the habitat. We quantitatively characterized the acoustic environments of two coral reef habitats, one in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (Panama) and one in the Caribbean (Florida Keys), over 2-day recording durations in July 2011. We examined the frequency distribution, temporal variability, and biological patterns of sound production and found clear differences. The Pacific reef exhibited clear biological patterns and high temporal variability, such as the onset of snapping shrimp noise at night, as well as a 400-Hz daytime band likely produced by damselfish. In contrast, the Caribbean reef had high sound levels in the lowest frequencies, but lacked clear temporal patterns. We suggest that acoustic measures are an important element to include in reef monitoring programs, as the acoustic environment plays an important role in the ecology of reef organisms at multiple life-history stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-557
Number of pages5
JournalCoral Reefs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Acoustic ecology
  • Caribbean
  • Coral reef
  • Damselfish
  • Passive acoustic monitoring
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Soundscapes from a Tropical Eastern Pacific reef and a Caribbean Sea reef'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this