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Noise pollution affects even the smallest wildlife

Cara J

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Loud noise and vibrations from natural gas compressors influence the number of insects and spiders surrounding them, which could have consequences on other wildlife in the ecosystem, according to new research. “Anyone who studies insects know that they run the world,” said Jesse Barber, an associate professor at Boise State University in Idaho, and senior author of the new study published in Ecology and Evolution. “These animals are important to ecosystem function, and it’s critical to know how human-caused noise is changing their distribution, behavior and ecology.” As part of the study, the research team used pitfall traps that contained propylene glycol, a sticky, sugary preservative, to capture spiders and non-flying insects in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin at five sites with gas compressors and five ecologically similar sites without the compressors for two months. They then placed the bugs in alcohol and determined which species were present in each site. The researchers found that sites with gas compressors had 95 percent fewer cave, camel and spider crickets, 52 percent fewer froghoppers and 24 percent fewer grasshoppers than nearby sites without compressors. Leafhopper numbers increased in the sites with the loud compressors, however, and some species such as jumping spiders, [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/noise-pollution-affects-even-the-smallest-wildlife/

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