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Immediate spectral flexibility in singing chiffchaffs during experimental exposure to highway noise

Verzijden, Machteld LU ; Ripmeester, E. A. P.; Ohms, V. R.; Snelderwaard, P. and Slabbekoorn, H. (2010) In Journal of Experimental Biology 213(15). p.2575-2581
Abstract
Sound plays an important role in the life of many animals, including many bird species. Typically, male birds sing to defend a territory and to attract mates. Ambient noise may negatively affect the signal efficiency of their songs, which may be critical to reproductive success. Consequently, anthropogenic noise may be detrimental to individual birds and to populations in cities and along highways. Several bird species that are still common in urban areas have been shown to sing at higher frequency at locations where there is more low-frequency traffic noise. Here we show that chiffchaffs along noisy highways also sing with a higher minimum frequency than chiffchaffs nearby at a quiet riverside. Furthermore, through experimental exposure... (More)
Sound plays an important role in the life of many animals, including many bird species. Typically, male birds sing to defend a territory and to attract mates. Ambient noise may negatively affect the signal efficiency of their songs, which may be critical to reproductive success. Consequently, anthropogenic noise may be detrimental to individual birds and to populations in cities and along highways. Several bird species that are still common in urban areas have been shown to sing at higher frequency at locations where there is more low-frequency traffic noise. Here we show that chiffchaffs along noisy highways also sing with a higher minimum frequency than chiffchaffs nearby at a quiet riverside. Furthermore, through experimental exposure to highway noise we show that these birds are capable of making such adjustments over a very short time scale. The first 10 songs sung during the noise exposure revealed an immediate shift to higher frequencies, with a return to pre-exposure levels in recordings without noise the following day. In a transmission re-recording experiment we tested the impact of a potential measurement artifact by recording playback of the same songs repeatedly under different controlled noise conditions. We found an upward shift in the minimum frequency measurement associated with more noisy recordings of the same song, but this artifact was not of a scale that it could explain the noise-dependent spectral shifts in chiffchaffs. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
experimental exposure, anthropogenic noise, birdsong, masking avoidance, frequency shift
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
213
issue
15
pages
2575 - 2581
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000279978500013
  • scopus:77954353551
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.038299
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0e1eef85-5ed5-45a0-9532-7f3abbfd11dc (old id 1657430)
date added to LUP
2010-08-31 10:16:37
date last changed
2018-06-24 03:13:58
@article{0e1eef85-5ed5-45a0-9532-7f3abbfd11dc,
  abstract     = {Sound plays an important role in the life of many animals, including many bird species. Typically, male birds sing to defend a territory and to attract mates. Ambient noise may negatively affect the signal efficiency of their songs, which may be critical to reproductive success. Consequently, anthropogenic noise may be detrimental to individual birds and to populations in cities and along highways. Several bird species that are still common in urban areas have been shown to sing at higher frequency at locations where there is more low-frequency traffic noise. Here we show that chiffchaffs along noisy highways also sing with a higher minimum frequency than chiffchaffs nearby at a quiet riverside. Furthermore, through experimental exposure to highway noise we show that these birds are capable of making such adjustments over a very short time scale. The first 10 songs sung during the noise exposure revealed an immediate shift to higher frequencies, with a return to pre-exposure levels in recordings without noise the following day. In a transmission re-recording experiment we tested the impact of a potential measurement artifact by recording playback of the same songs repeatedly under different controlled noise conditions. We found an upward shift in the minimum frequency measurement associated with more noisy recordings of the same song, but this artifact was not of a scale that it could explain the noise-dependent spectral shifts in chiffchaffs.},
  author       = {Verzijden, Machteld and Ripmeester, E. A. P. and Ohms, V. R. and Snelderwaard, P. and Slabbekoorn, H.},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {experimental exposure,anthropogenic noise,birdsong,masking avoidance,frequency shift},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {15},
  pages        = {2575--2581},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Immediate spectral flexibility in singing chiffchaffs during experimental exposure to highway noise},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.038299},
  volume       = {213},
  year         = {2010},
}