Anthropogenic disturbance is a major cause of the biodiversity crisis. Nevertheless, the role of anthropogenic substrate vibrations in disrupting animal behavior is poorly understood. Amphibians comprise the terrestrial vertebrates most sensitive to vibrations, and since communication is crucial to their survival and reproduction, they are a suitable model for investigating this timely subject. Playback tests were used to assess the effects of substrate vibrations produced by two sources of anthropogenic activity– road traffic and wind turbines– on the calling activity of a naïve population of terrestrial toads. In their natural habitat, a buried tactile sound transducer was used to emit simulated traffic and wind turbine vibrations, and changes in the toads’ acoustic responses were analyzed by measuring parameters important for reproductive success: call rate, call duration and dominant frequency. Our results showed a significant call rate reduction by males of Alytes obstetricans in response to both seismic sources, whereas other parameters remained stable. Since females of several species prefer males with higher call rates, our results suggest that anthropogenically derived substrate-borne vibrations could reduce individual reproductive success. Our study demonstrates a clear negative effect of anthropogenic vibrations on anuran communication, and the urgent need for further investigation in this area.

Caorsi, V., Guerra, V., Furtado, R., Llusia, D., Miron, L., Borges-Martins, M., et al. (2019). Anthropogenic substrate-borne vibrations impact anuran calling. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9(1) [10.1038/s41598-019-55639-0].

Anthropogenic substrate-borne vibrations impact anuran calling

Caorsi V.
;
2019

Abstract

Anthropogenic disturbance is a major cause of the biodiversity crisis. Nevertheless, the role of anthropogenic substrate vibrations in disrupting animal behavior is poorly understood. Amphibians comprise the terrestrial vertebrates most sensitive to vibrations, and since communication is crucial to their survival and reproduction, they are a suitable model for investigating this timely subject. Playback tests were used to assess the effects of substrate vibrations produced by two sources of anthropogenic activity– road traffic and wind turbines– on the calling activity of a naïve population of terrestrial toads. In their natural habitat, a buried tactile sound transducer was used to emit simulated traffic and wind turbine vibrations, and changes in the toads’ acoustic responses were analyzed by measuring parameters important for reproductive success: call rate, call duration and dominant frequency. Our results showed a significant call rate reduction by males of Alytes obstetricans in response to both seismic sources, whereas other parameters remained stable. Since females of several species prefer males with higher call rates, our results suggest that anthropogenically derived substrate-borne vibrations could reduce individual reproductive success. Our study demonstrates a clear negative effect of anthropogenic vibrations on anuran communication, and the urgent need for further investigation in this area.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
adverse event; animal; Anura; biodiversity; female; male; physiology; reproduction; sexual behavior; vibration; vocalization
English
2019
9
1
19456
open
Caorsi, V., Guerra, V., Furtado, R., Llusia, D., Miron, L., Borges-Martins, M., et al. (2019). Anthropogenic substrate-borne vibrations impact anuran calling. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9(1) [10.1038/s41598-019-55639-0].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/442863
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