Noise pollution alters ecology

It must be no surprise to anyone that noise pollution can and does affect ecology, the local balance of flora and fauna, including human beings. There is now conclusive documentation of the effects of noise on ecology through a careful study of bird and seed in a remote area. Noise pollution “may have dramatic long-term effects on ecosystem structure and diversity“. Because the extent of noise pollution is growing, this study emphasizes that “investigators should evaluate the ecological consequences of noise alongside other human-induced environmental changes that are reshaping human-altered landscapes worldwide“.

The natural world deserves our careful stewardship through comprehensive environmental impact assessment of industrial projects. Of the many dozens of environmental impact statements I have reviewed over the years, there has been essentially no consideration of the effects of noise on ecology. Perhaps this study, and others, will serve as a caution that noise is a truly significant pollutant capable of adversely affecting ecology.

For more information, visit Noise pollution alters ecological services: enhanced pollination and disrupted seed dispersal.