Frequency of greatest temporary hearing threshold shift in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) depends on the noise level

TitleFrequency of greatest temporary hearing threshold shift in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) depends on the noise level
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKastelein, Ronald A., Schop Jessica, Gransier Robin, and Hoek Lean
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume136
Pagination1410-1418
EndNote Rec Number10571
Abstract

Harbor porpoises may suffer hearing loss when they are exposed to high level sounds. After exposure for 60 min to a 6.5 kHz continuous tone at average received sound pressure levels (SPLav.re.) ranging from 118 to 154 dB re 1μPa, the temporary hearing threshold shifts (TTSs) of a harbor porpoise were quantified at the center frequency (6.5 kHz), at 0.5, 1.0, and 1.3 octaves above the center frequency (9.2, 13.0, and 16.0 kHz), and at a frequency assumed to be ecologically important for harbor porpoises (125 kHz, the center frequency of their echolocation signals) by means of a psychoacoustic technique. The hearing frequency at which the maximum TTS occurred depended on the SPLav.re. The higher the SPLav.re., the higher the TTS induced at frequencies higher than the exposure frequency; below 148 dB re 1 μPa, the maximum TTS was at 6.5 kHz, whereas above 148 dB re 1 μPa, the maximum TTS was at 9.2 kHz. The hearing threshold of the harbor porpoise for the center frequency of its echolocation signals (125 kHz) was not affected at the highest SPLav.re. to which the animal was exposed.