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Review

When Is Temporary Threshold Shift Injurious to Marine Mammals?

National Marine Mammal Foundation, 2240 Shelter Island Drive, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106, USA
Academic Editors: Michel André and Christine Erbe
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(7), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070757
Received: 31 May 2021 / Revised: 5 July 2021 / Accepted: 6 July 2021 / Published: 9 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
Evidence for synaptopathy, the acute loss of afferent auditory nerve terminals, and degeneration of spiral ganglion cells associated with temporary threshold shift (TTS) in traditional laboratory animal models (e.g., mice, guinea pigs) has brought into question whether TTS should be considered a non-injurious form of noise impact in marine mammals. Laboratory animal studies also demonstrate that both neuropathic and non-neuropathic forms of TTS exist, with synaptopathy and neural degeneration beginning over a narrow range of noise exposures differing by ~6–9 dB, all of which result in significant TTS. Most TTS studies in marine mammals characterize TTS within minutes of noise exposure cessation, and TTS generally does not achieve the levels measured in neuropathic laboratory animals, which have had initial TTS measurements made 6–24 h post-exposure. Given the recovery of the ear following the cessation of noise exposure, it seems unlikely that the magnitude of nearly all shifts studied in marine mammals to date would be sufficient to induce neuropathy. Although no empirical evidence in marine mammals exists to support this proposition, the regulatory application of impact thresholds based on the onset of TTS (6 dB) is certain to capture the onset of recoverable fatigue without tissue destruction. View Full-Text
Keywords: permanent threshold shift; synaptopathy; neuropathy; auditory brainstem response; behavioral thresholds permanent threshold shift; synaptopathy; neuropathy; auditory brainstem response; behavioral thresholds
MDPI and ACS Style

Houser, D.S. When Is Temporary Threshold Shift Injurious to Marine Mammals? J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 757. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070757

AMA Style

Houser DS. When Is Temporary Threshold Shift Injurious to Marine Mammals? Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(7):757. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070757

Chicago/Turabian Style

Houser, Dorian S. 2021. "When Is Temporary Threshold Shift Injurious to Marine Mammals?" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 7: 757. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070757

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