Acoustic monitoring in Kellogg LTER: Treatmentsignatures

Gage, S.H. S. Roels, J. Qi, W. Joo, B. Napoletano

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2004-10-08 )

This project developed a methodology to monitor LTER treatments using automated acoustic recording instruments to determine if treatments have different “Acoustic Signatures”. We anticipated that each habitat would bear a unique set of acoustical characteristics– an “Acoustic Signature”. As a component of the study, we utilized acoustics to determine the presence of vocalizing species. Our initial focus was on birds, with ancillary information on the presence of amphibians and insects. Prior to this research, there had not been any surveys of birds or amphibians in the Kellogg LTER. We also anticipated that we could characterize the relative amount of biological activity (Biophony) in the treatments. We also measured temporal effects on species activity, and the automation of recording systems allowed us to evaluate the degree of human disturbance (Anthrophony). A long term goal of this research is to test the “Acoustic Niche Hypothesis” which states that organisms compete for acoustic spectral space.We have developed methods and instrumentation to automatically record acoustic signals in a selected set of LTER treatments to determine if they have a unique signature. We used the automated recording systems to determine the acoustic signatures in selected treatments, and then compared signatures among treatments. The automated recording instrumentation also captured the occurrence of vocalizing species in LTER treatments.  We examined the importance of edge effects from nearby landscapes and how these habitats influence the soundscape within the research area. The recordings were used to classify sounds and to develop a measure of the degree of biological activity in the different treatments. We characterized the degree of biological activity over time to determine peak biological activity timings in LTER treatments.

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