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The Effect of Sound Frequencies on Daphnia Magna

Students explored the roles sounds of differing frequency had on the stress response, viability, and health of pond invertebrates Daphnia magna.


Jazlyn Fuentes, Amber Siurano


Alfred Drew

Project Period:




Daphnia magna is a small crustacean that is frequently used in scientific research as a model organism because it is easy to keep in a lab, reproduces quickly, is sensitive to environmental changes, and has short lifespans, making it ideal for studying the effects of long-term exposure to environmental stressors.

The aquatic ecosystems of Daphnia magna can be tested for the effects of noise pollution. They are also an important food source for many aquatic animals, so studying how they react to different sound frequencies helps us better understand how sound pollution affects entire aquatic ecosystems. Sound pollution is the presence of annoying noise in the environment that can be harmful to both humans and animals. Sound pollution can be caused by a variety of factors, including traffic, construction, ferry horns, and loud music.

Sound pollution is harmful because it can cause hearing loss, stress, and sleep disturbances. Since sound pollution is a stressor for daphnia, it can affect the physiology of daphnia magna. An example of this would be the production of sexual rather than asexual eggs in Daphnia magna. Daphnia magna normally reproduce asexually but when under immense stress they can produce resting or sexual eggs in order to produce male daphnia, and increase biodiversity.

Stress can interfere with animal behavior and communication in their natural habitats, which leads us to our research question: How do different sound frequencies affect the behavior, survival and reproduction of Daphnia magna?

This page was originally developed by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.

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