Research Lines

Financing entity
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Coordinating entity
University of Padova
Thursday, 29 December, 2022 to Sunday, 28 December, 2025
JPI Oceans 2021
Head of project
Rosa Maria Alsina Pagès
Research Group
Research Line
Project type

Among noise sources, maritime traffic is of relevance on animal wellness, although its impact is little known in many European sea-basins. To date, there has been an almost exclusive focus on vertebrates, in which noise involves the mechanoreceptor cells of the ear and can cause hearing impairment or deafness. Homolog cells have been discovered in tunicates, marine invertebrates closely related to vertebrates, thus opening the question on their ability to sense and be affected by noise. Tunicate mechanoreceptors sense sound waves and particle movement and are predictable targets of noise pollution. DeuteroNoise aims to characterize the noise pollution caused by maritime traffic (also using simulations) in selected sites of the North Adriatic Sea, Lagoon of Venice, North Sea, Black Sea, and Barcelona shore, and test its effects on behavior, nervous system and sensory organs, immune system, and resilience in marine invertebrates closely related to vertebrates (deuterostomes): hemichordates, echinoderms, cephalochordates, and tunicates. These animals are common in European seas and cover different levels of the trophic network, from the holoplankton-meroplankton to sessile or sedentary primary consumers. Noise level will be detected on site and simulated in the laboratory. A behavioral, morphological and genetic survey will be conducted on sampled animals living in polluted vs non-polluted areas. Moreover, animals will be exposed to noise in laboratory-controlled conditions to verify its effect on larval, juvenile and adult stages at individual level and over generations. Comparative studies will allow us to: highlight causes of noise pollution in the different basins; determine how species react to it; identify its genetic and morphological signatures; predict sensitivities in closely related animals that cannot easily be studied in laboratory or on-site; predict noise pollution and infer the best practices to reach the Good Environment Status of European basins.