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科学美国人60秒: 船只噪音干扰了螃蟹的伪装

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Stress from Undersea Noise Interferes with Crab Camouflage

船只噪音干扰了螃蟹的伪装

Large oceangoing vessels like oil tankers and cruise ships produce noise that travels long distances underwater. That audio pollution can disrupt the sounds that marine mammals, fish and other animals use to communicate.

油轮和游船这样的大型远洋船舶在水下长距离航行时产生噪音。这种噪音污染会干扰海洋哺乳动物、鱼类和其他动物用来交流的声音。

“When there’s lots of noise from ship traffic, it basically masks those sounds so they just can’t hear each other.”

“当海上交通噪音很大的时候,基本上会掩盖动物声音,这样它们就听不到对方的声音了。”

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University of Exeter sensory ecologist Emily Carter. She wondered whether ship noise might also be detrimental to animals that don’t rely on sound for communication. For example, young shore crabs that use camouflage to hide from predators.

埃克塞特大学的感官生态学家艾米丽·卡特发表了上述言论。她想知道船舶噪音是否也会对那些不依赖声音进行交流的动物有害。例如,年轻的岸蟹用伪装来躲避捕食者。

“So they can actually change their color to match whatever it is that they're sitting on, basically to make it harder for predators to find them.”

“所以它们实际上可以改变自己的颜色来匹配所坐的位置,基本上是为了让捕食者更难找到它们。”

Carter suspected that stress from ship noise might hinder the change process. To find out, she and her colleagues collected juvenile shore crabs with dark shells and brought them back to the lab. They placed the crabs in tanks full of white gravel. An underwater speaker in each tank played quiet natural sounds at all times. One group of crabs also heard loud natural sounds every hour. But another group was subjected to hourly recordings of large ships.

卡特怀疑来自船只噪音可能会阻碍行程改变的过程。为了找到答案,她和同事们收集了深色外壳的幼年蟹,并把它们带回实验室。每个水箱里都有一个水下扬声器,可以随时播放安静的自然声音。一组螃蟹每小时也能听到巨大的自然声音。但另一组每小时都要听到大型船只的录音。

Carter says shorebirds—which eat the crabs—can see UV light, so she used ultraviolet photography to determine how well the crabs blended into their new habitat over time.

卡特说,以螃蟹为食的滨鸟能看到紫外线,所以她用紫外线来确定螃蟹在一段时间内融入新栖息地的程度。

“Through the eyes of a shorebird—so through a bird’s perspective—were they camouflaged? Weren’t they camouflaged? How obvious would they be?”

“通过滨鸟的眼睛——也就是通过一只鸟的视角——它们伪装了吗?”还是没有伪装?又会有多明显?”

After eight weeks, the crabs that heard only natural sounds had become much lighter and were well camouflaged. “But the ones that were exposed to the ship noise didn’t change color as much. And then, as a result, they weren’t as camouflaged at the end of the experiment. So they’d be much more noticeable to a predator.”

八周后,只听到自然声音的螃蟹变得更轻,伪装得很好。“但那些暴露在船只噪音下的螃蟹的颜色变化不大。结果,它们在实验结束时并没有伪装起来。所以它们会更容易被捕食者发现。”

What’s more, in another experiment, crabs failed to flee when they heard ship noise during a simulated predator attack.

更重要的是,在另一项实验中,螃蟹在一次模拟捕食者攻击中听到船的声音时,它们没有逃跑。

“They either didn’t respond at all, or they did respond, but they were much, much slower to do so. So in a real life setting, they would have been captured much more easily.

“它们要么完全没有反应,要么有反应,但反应要慢得多。所以在现实生活中,会更容易被捕捉到。

Carter says the stress caused by ship noise may interfere with hormones that regulate color change in crabs or sap the energy needed to make the change efficiently. The study is in the journal Current Biology.

卡特说,船只噪音造成的压力可能会干扰调节螃蟹颜色变化的激素,或者消耗有效改变颜色所需的能量。这项研究发表在《当代生物学》杂志上。

The research not only puts a spotlight on the unintended consequences of noise pollution, but is a reminder that too much stress isn’t just bad for people—it can also be deadly to wildlife that needs some peace and quiet.

这项研究不仅将人们的注意力集中在噪音污染所带来的意外后果上,同时也提醒人们,过多的压力不仅对人类有害,还会对需要安静和安宁的野生动物造成致命的伤害。

Stress from Undersea Noise Interferes with Crab Camouflage

Large oceangoing vessels like oil tankers and cruise ships produce noise that travels long distances underwater. That audio pollution can disrupt the sounds that marine mammals, fish and other animals use to communicate.

“When there’s lots of noise from ship traffic, it basically masks those sounds so they just can’t hear each other.”

University of Exeter sensory ecologist Emily Carter. She wondered whether ship noise might also be detrimental to animals that don’t rely on sound for communication. For example, young shore crabs that use camouflage to hide from predators.

“So they can actually change their color to match whatever it is that they're sitting on, basically to make it harder for predators to find them.”

Carter suspected that stress from ship noise might hinder the change process. To find out, she and her colleagues collected juvenile shore crabs with dark shells and brought them back to the lab. They placed the crabs in tanks full of white gravel. An underwater speaker in each tank played quiet natural sounds at all times. One group of crabs also heard loud natural sounds every hour. But another group was subjected to hourly recordings of large ships.

Carter says shorebirds—which eat the crabs—can see UV light, so she used ultraviolet photography to determine how well the crabs blended into their new habitat over time.

“Through the eyes of a shorebird—so through a bird’s perspective—were they camouflaged? Weren’t they camouflaged? How obvious would they be?”

After eight weeks, the crabs that heard only natural sounds had become much lighter and were well camouflaged. “But the ones that were exposed to the ship noise didn’t change color as much. And then, as a result, they weren’t as camouflaged at the end of the experiment. So they’d be much more noticeable to a predator.”

>What’s more, in another experiment, crabs failed to flee when they heard ship noise during a simulated predator attack.

“They either didn’t respond at all, or they did respond, but they were much, much slower to do so. So in a real life setting, they would have been captured much more easily.

Carter says the stress caused by ship noise may interfere with hormones that regulate color change in crabs or sap the energy needed to make the change efficiently. The study is in the journal Current Biology

The research not only puts a spotlight on the unintended consequences of noise pollution, but is a reminder that too much stress isn’t just bad for people—it can also be deadly to wildlife that needs some peace and quiet.—Susanne Bard


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