Silent winters and rock-and-roll summers: The long-term effects of changing oceans on marine fish vocalization
The analysis of temporal trends and spatial patterns of marine sounds can provide crucial insights to assess the abundance, distribution, and behavior of fishes and of many other species. However, data on species-specific temporal and seasonal changes are still extremely limited. We report here the result of the longest recording ever conducted (five years, from 2014 to 2018) on fish vocalization. Findings from the Eastern Taiwan Strait (ETS) revealed a periodic fish chorusing pattern, with peaks in summer and almost complete silence, for ~2 months, during winter. Chorusing pattern was influenced by abiotic parameters, including temperature, tides and moon phase. We also report, for the first time, that extreme weather events (e.g., typhoons, storms with sediment resuspension) caused the cessation of the chorusing. The chorusing pattern explored in this long-term study provides important baseline data to understand the impact of climate change and of climate-driven extreme/episodic events on the phenology of fishes; this work also provides evidence that changes in the ambient conditions might significantly alter the phenology of vocalizing marine species.