Condition-dependent physiological and behavioural responses to anthropogenic noise

Julia Purser, Rick Bruintjes, Stephen D. Simpson, Andrew N. Radford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (SciVal)


Anthropogenic (man-made) noise, a global pollutant of international concern, is known to affect the physiology and behaviour of a range of organisms. However, experimental studies have tended to focus on trait means; intra-population variation in responses are likely, but have rarely been explored. Here we use established experimental methods to demonstrate a condition-dependent effect of additional noise. We show that juvenile European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in good condition do not respond differently to playbacks of ambient coastal noise and coastal noise with passing ships. By contrast, the additional noise of ship passes caused an increase in ventilation rate and a decrease in startling to a looming predatory stimulus in poor condition eels. Intra-population variation in responses to noise has important implications both for population dynamics and the planning of mitigation measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Anti-predator behaviour
  • Experimental manipulation
  • Ship noise
  • Sound
  • Stress
  • Ventilation rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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