The study of marine soundscapes is an emerging field of research that contributes important information about biological compositions and environmental conditions. The seasonal and circadian soundscape trends of a marine protected area (MPA) in the Mediterranean Sea have been studied for one year using an autonomous acoustic recorder. Frequencies less than 1 kHz are dominated by noise generated by waves and are louder during the winter; conversely, higher frequencies (4-96 kHz) are dominated by snapping shrimp, which increase their acoustic activity at night during the summer. Fish choruses, below 2 kHz, characterize the soundscape at sunset during the summer. Because there are 13 vessel passages per hour on average, causing acoustic interference with fish choruses 46% of the time, this MPA cannot be considered to be protected from noise. On the basis of the high seasonal variability of the soundscape components, this study proposes a one-year acoustic monitoring protocol using the soundscape methodology approach and discusses the concept of MPA size.
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Buscaino, G., Ceraulo, M., Pieretti, N., Corrias, V., Farina, A., Filiciotto, F., Maccarrone, V., Grammauta, R., Caruso, F., Giuseppe, A., & Mazzola, S. (2016). Temporal patterns in the soundscape of the shallow waters of a Mediterranean marine protected area. Scientific Reports, 6, -. . https://doi.org/10.1038/srep34230