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Exposure of benthic invertebrates to sediment vibration: From laboratory experiments to outdoor simulated pile-driving

Harding, Harry R.; Voellmy, Irene; Simpson, Steven D.; Radford, Andrew N.; Breithaupt, Thomas; Elliott, Michael; Roberts, Louise; Simpson, Sarah; Bruintjes, Rick; Harding, Harry; Radford, Andrew; Voellmy, Irene Katharina


Harry R. Harding

Irene Voellmy

Steven D. Simpson

Andrew N. Radford

Michael Elliott

Louise Roberts

Sarah Simpson

Rick Bruintjes

Harry Harding

Andrew Radford

Irene Katharina Voellmy


Activities directly interacting with the seabed, such as pile-driving, can produce vibrations that have the potential to impact benthic invertebrates within their vicinity. This stimuli may interfere with crucial behaviors such as foraging and predator avoidance, and the sensitivity to vibration is largely unknown. Here, the responsiveness of benthic invertebrates to sediment vibration is discussed in relation to laboratory and semi-field trials with two marine species: the mussel (Mytilus edulis) and hermit crab (Pagurus bernhardus). Sensory threshold curves were produced for both species in controlled laboratory conditions, followed by small-scale pile-driving exposures in the field. The merits of behavioral indicators are discussed, in addition to using physiological measures, as a method of determining reception and measuring responses. The measurement and sensors required for sediment vibration quantification are also discussed. Response and threshold data were related to measurements taken in the vicinity of anthropogenic sources, allowing a link between responsiveness and actual operations. The impact of pile-driving on sediment-dwelling invertebrates has received relatively little research, yet the data here suggest that such activities are likely to impact key coastal species which play important roles within the marine environment.


Harding, H. R., Voellmy, I., Simpson, S. D., Radford, A. N., Breithaupt, T., Elliott, M., …Voellmy, I. K. Exposure of benthic invertebrates to sediment vibration: From laboratory experiments to outdoor simulated pile-driving

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Acceptance Date Oct 20, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2017
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Proceedings of meetings on acoustics
Print ISSN 1939-800X
Publisher Acoustical Society of America
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 1
Pages 010029-1-010029-9
Keywords Physiological measurements, Vibration testing
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information The following article appeared in Proceedings of meetings on acoustics, 2017, v.27 issue 1, and may be found at


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