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Good or bad vibrations? Impacts of anthropogenic vibration on the marine epibenthos

Roberts, Louise; Elliott, Michael


Louise Roberts

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Professor Mike Elliott
Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies


© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Anthropogenic activities directly contacting the seabed, such as drilling and pile-driving, produce a significant vibration likely to impact benthic invertebrates. As with terrestrial organisms, vibration may be used by marine species for the detection of biotic and abiotic cues, yet the significance of this and the sensitivities to vibration are previously undocumented for many marine species. Exposure to additional vibration may elicit behavioral or physiological change, or even physical damage at high amplitudes or particular frequencies, although this is poorly studied in underwater noise research. Here we review studies regarding the sensitivities and responses of marine invertebrates to substrate-borne vibration. This includes information related to vibrations produced by those construction activities directly impacting the seabed, such as pile-driving. This shows the extent to which species are able to detect vibration and respond to anthropogenically-produced vibrations, although the short and long-term implications of this are not known. As such it is especially important that the sensitivities of these species are further understood, given that noise and energy-generating human impacts on the marine environment are only likely to increase and that there are now legal instruments requiring such effects to be monitored and controlled.


Roberts, L., & Elliott, M. (2017). Good or bad vibrations? Impacts of anthropogenic vibration on the marine epibenthos. The Science of the total environment, 595, 255-268.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Mar 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 4, 2017
Publication Date Oct 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 1, 2022
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Electronic ISSN 1879-1026
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 595
Pages 255-268
Keywords Substrate-borne vibration; Anthropogenic noise; Marine energy
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