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Impacts of traffic noise on anuran and bird communities Maria Isabel Herrera-Montes & T. Mitchell Aide

Summary: Impacts of traffic noise on anuran and bird communities
Maria Isabel Herrera-Montes & T. Mitchell Aide
# Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
Abstract Anurans and birds rely on sound for a number of social behaviors. Species that use
roadside habitats are exposed to traffic noise that can mask important social signals and directly
affect the community diversity and composition. We evaluate the impact of traffic noise on
anuran and bird species richness, species occurrence, and composition in Puerto Rico, where
there is a high density of highways and cars that generate high levels of noise pollution. We
compared paired forest sites near (100 m, n=20, dB>60) and far (>300 m, n=20, dB<60)
from highways, with similar vegetation structure, but different levels of noise. We found that
the anuran community was not affected by traffic noise. In contrast, bird species richness and
occurrence were significantly lower in sites near the highway, and bird species composition
also varied significantly. Bird species with low-frequency songs were only detected in sites
far from highways. The differences in the ecology and communication behavior between
anurans and birds could explain these results. Anurans mainly call at night, when traffic
activity was low. In contrast, bird singing activity occurs during the day and overlaps with the
high levels of traffic noise. In addition, in natural habitats, Puerto Rican anurans occur at high
densities and form noisy choruses (>80 dB), which may allow them to tolerate high levels of
anthropogenic noise.
Keywords Anthropogenic noise effects . Anurans . Frog . Birds . Changes in community


Source: Aide, Mitchell - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology