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Start Date

2-3-2021 10:20 AM

End Date

2-3-2021 11:25 AM

Abstract

Urban environments pose a unique set of challenges to wildlife. Notably, animals that use vocalization as a primary means of communication are affected by higher levels of low-frequency ambient noise, which mask vocalizations, and the physical structure of city landscapes, which influences the way sound travels and is absorbed. The majority of current literature focuses on urbanization as a spectrum from rural to urban, and has led to significant findings in understanding birdsong responses to increased ambient noise. However, less is known about how the variation of uniquely anthropogenic organization of structures and vegetation across urban land use types has the potential to influence bird vocalizations. We conducted a preliminary investigation of how variation in physical and acoustic properties within urban environments is related to birdsong, sampling bird vocalizations across four distinct urban environments (suburbs, city parks, college campuses, and downtown business districts) on each coast of the continental U.S. Songs and calls were manually extracted from the recordings with RavenPro, and data on vegetation and buildings was obtained using Google Earth Engine and ImageJ. While data analysis is still ongoing, preliminary results show differences in ambient noise and vegetation cover across different urban environments and suggest accompanying variation in bird vocalizations. Studying urban environments as heterogeneous ecosystems with varying landscapes and soundscapes will hopefully allow for a deeper understanding of how animal communication has adapted to urbanization, and potentially lead to developments towards urban landscapes that enable, rather than hinder, birdsong.

Subjects

Animal ecology, Wildlife biology

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35473

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Mar 2nd, 10:20 AM Mar 2nd, 11:25 AM

Birdsong in Urban Environments With Differing Vegetation and Building Structures

Urban environments pose a unique set of challenges to wildlife. Notably, animals that use vocalization as a primary means of communication are affected by higher levels of low-frequency ambient noise, which mask vocalizations, and the physical structure of city landscapes, which influences the way sound travels and is absorbed. The majority of current literature focuses on urbanization as a spectrum from rural to urban, and has led to significant findings in understanding birdsong responses to increased ambient noise. However, less is known about how the variation of uniquely anthropogenic organization of structures and vegetation across urban land use types has the potential to influence bird vocalizations. We conducted a preliminary investigation of how variation in physical and acoustic properties within urban environments is related to birdsong, sampling bird vocalizations across four distinct urban environments (suburbs, city parks, college campuses, and downtown business districts) on each coast of the continental U.S. Songs and calls were manually extracted from the recordings with RavenPro, and data on vegetation and buildings was obtained using Google Earth Engine and ImageJ. While data analysis is still ongoing, preliminary results show differences in ambient noise and vegetation cover across different urban environments and suggest accompanying variation in bird vocalizations. Studying urban environments as heterogeneous ecosystems with varying landscapes and soundscapes will hopefully allow for a deeper understanding of how animal communication has adapted to urbanization, and potentially lead to developments towards urban landscapes that enable, rather than hinder, birdsong.