Habitat type and density influence vocal signal design in satin bowerbirds

Nicholls, J. A. and Goldizen, A. W. (2006) Habitat type and density influence vocal signal design in satin bowerbirds. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75 2: 549-558. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01075.x

Author Nicholls, J. A.
Goldizen, A. W.
Title Habitat type and density influence vocal signal design in satin bowerbirds
Journal name Journal of Animal Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8790
Publication date 2006-01-01
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01075.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 75
Issue 2
Start page 549
End page 558
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject C1
270707 Sociobiology and Behavioural Ecology
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract This study provided a thorough test of the acoustic adaptation hypothesis using a within-species comparison of call structure involving a wide range of habitat types, an objective measure of habitat density and direct measures of habitat-related attenuation. The structure of the bower advertisement call of the satin bowerbird was measured in 16 populations from throughout the species' range and related to the habitat type and density at each site. Transmission of white noise, pure tones and different bowerbird dialects was measured in five of six habitat types inhabited by satin bowerbirds. Bowerbird advertisement call structure converged in similar habitats but diverged among different habitats; this pattern was apparent at both continent-wide and local geographical scales. Bowerbirds' call structures differed with changes in habitat density, consistent with the acoustic adaptation hypothesis. Lower frequencies and less frequency modulation were utilized in denser habitats such as rainforest and higher frequencies and more frequency modulation were used in the more open eucalypt-dominated habitats. The white noise and pure tone transmission measurements indicated that different habitats varied in their sound transmission properties in a manner consistent with the observed variation in satin bowerbird vocalizations. There was no effect of geographical proximity of recording locations, nor was there the predicted inverse relationship between frequency and body size. These findings indicate that the transmission qualities of different habitats have had a major influence on variation in vocal phenotypes in this species. In addition, previously published molecular data for this species suggest that there is no effect of genetic relatedness on call similarity among satin bowerbird populations.
Keyword Avian
Call Variation
Signal Design
Sound Transmission
Tit Parus-major
Acoustic Communication
Animal Vocalization
Song Divergence
Bird Song
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 18:22:02 EST