Navigation Links
Bird song changes sound alarm over habitat fragmentation

Changes in bird song could be used as an early warning system to detect man-made ecological disturbances, new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology has found. Although much previous research has focused on bird song and vocal mimicry, this is the first study to analyse the role played by habitat loss and fragmentation on song-matching.

Ecologists recorded and analysed the songs of more than 200 Dupont's larks, Chersophilus duponti, in Spain and Morocco and found that in fragmented habitats, song-sharing among neighbours was enhanced whereas song-sharing among non-neighbours declined. Having ruled out other explanations, such as the stage of the breeding season and competition intensity, the researchers say this change in song-sharing is due to lack of interaction between individuals isolated by habitat barriers.

According to the study's authors, Dr Paola Laiolo and Dr José Tella of the Estación Biologica de Doñana in Seville, Spain: "We found that habitat loss in the steppe matrix markedly affected song-type sharing mechanisms in Dupont's lark. The occurrence of anthropogenic habitat barriers seems to hinder cultural transmission of song types over distances, resulting in an intensification of the differences between non-neighbours and increasing mimicry between neighbours. This suggests that males from fragmented habitats perceived as rivals only the close neighbours with which they engaged in counter-singing."

"Communication systems of habitat-sensitive species might be used as a behavioural indicator of anthropogenic environmental deterioration. Because of their rapidly evolving cultural nature, bird vocalisations might become an early warning system detecting the effects of fragmentation over relatively short times and before other indicators - such as genetic markers - show any change," they say.

Sharing song types - when a male replies to a rival's song with the same song sequence - wit h neighbours is common in birds, and is thought to act as a threat signal between males, which would explain why birds have evolved such complex song repertoires.

The Dupont's lark is a rare and specialised steppe passerine, and its song unit is made up of up to 11 discrete sequences, each sequence being composed of up to 13 notes. The most common sequence is known as the 'whee-ur-wheeee'. To be considered as shared songs in this study, two sequences had to match at least 75% of their component notes and the matching portions had to be similar in note shape, timing and frequency.


'"/>

Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Related biology news :

1. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
2. Plants defy Mendels inheritance laws, may prompt textbook changes
3. Scientists find evidence of catastrophic sand avalanches, sea level changes in Gulf of Mexico
4. Customized gene chip provides rapid detection of genetic changes in childrens cancer
5. New amphibian species result from exploration, not from rule changes
6. Embryonic stem cells accrue genetic changes
7. New view of cancer: Epigenetic changes come before mutations
8. Meditation associated with structural changes in brain
9. Ocean dead zones trigger sex changes in fish, posing extinction threat
10. Genome changes tracked during multiple myeloma initiation, progression and treatment
11. Human behavior changes the number of strains of infectious diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... India , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture ... Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... Vernon HIlls, IL (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... use, harsh environments and time. The pocket testers even stand upright with a new ... in the lab or out in the field who need to test water quality. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Sept. 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., the global ... pleased to announce the strategic partnership with VTI Life ... with validation services using the latest technology available in ... provide clients with efficient and cost-effective validation services using ... for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... today announced a partnership with Cytena GmbH to launch the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ ... image analysis to isolate single cells and provide visual documentation of monoclonality for ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... NC (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... on band technologies for surgical applications, announced today that two new patents have ... , Michael Albert, MD, Co-Founder of Band-LOK, said, “We continue to explore additional ...
Breaking Biology Technology: