Applicability of the optical mesoscope technology to assess physical effects of noise on statocysts of marine invertebrate embryos/larvae: A proof of concept

  We perceive oceans as quiet,but increasing levels of man-made noise can have negative effects on marine organisms. Invertebrates are under-represented in noise-related research but play significant roles in aquatic ecosystems. Noise can adversely affect their sensory organs, impairing movement and survival.In this proof-of-concept project, we will use the Mesolens to compare statocysts (sensory organs for orientation/balance) of squid larvae that have been exposed to ship noise playbacks with those from a silence-control group. Because of their small size(≈0.5mm),conventional preparation methods for e.g.scanning electron microscopy have proven difficult. We will apply the Mesolens technology to visualise the inner sensory tissues avoiding mechanical damage to the statocysts to determine any noise-related impairment. Research efforts on the effects of noise pollution on marine invertebrates are growing. Our results could offer a new avenue for studying structural damage on small organisms and their sensory tissues during early development.

  • Start Date:

    1 February 2020

  • End Date:

    31 July 2020

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance

  • Value:

    £10000

Project Team