Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 161–170 | Cite as

A comparison of sound propagation and song frequency in temperate marsh and grassland habitats

  • Susan E. Cosens
  • J. Bruce Falls
Article

Summary

Attenuation of pure tones was measured in marsh and grassland habitat. At surface level, in grassland, the ground effect strongly attenuated frequencies below 2.0 kHz (Fig. 2). The ground effect was reduced by increasing source-receiver elevation. In marsh habitat the ground effect did not occur, and low frequencies were optimal for sound propagation (Fig. 3). As predicted from sound propagation tests, analysis of recorded songs of seven grassland and six marsh species indicated that minimum and emphasized frequency were significantly lower in songs of marsh birds. Maximum frequency did not differ between habitats (Table 4). Buzzing songs of yellow-headed blackbirds were broadcast and re-recorded at 1 and 50 m from the speaker in marsh and grassland habitats. Low frequency components attenuated more rapidly than higher frequency components in grassland, and the reverse occurred in marsh. Results suggested that the ground effect restricts the use of low frequencies by grassland birds. This evidence is consistent with the ‘sound window’ hypothesis of Morton.

Keywords

Frequency Component Propagation Test Surface Level Pure Tone Maximum Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aylor D (1971) Noise reduction by vegetation and ground. J Acoust Soc Am 51:197–205Google Scholar
  2. Bowman RI (1979) Adaptive morphology of song dialects in Darwin's finches. J Ornithol 120:353–389Google Scholar
  3. Clench MH, Leberman RC (1978) Weights of 151 species of Pennsylvania birds analyzed by month, age, and sex. Bull Carnegie Mus Nat Hist 5:87Google Scholar
  4. Delaney ME (1977) Sound propagation in the atmosphere: A historical review. Acustica 38:201–223Google Scholar
  5. Falls JB (1981) Mapping territories with playback: An accurate census method for songbirds. Stud Avian Biol 6:86–91Google Scholar
  6. Freund RJ, Littell RC (1981) SAS for linear models. SAS Institute, Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
  7. Hunter ML, Krebs JR (1979) Geographical variation in the song of the great tit (Parus major) in relation to ecological factors. J Anim Ecol 48:759–785Google Scholar
  8. Jilka VA, Leisler B (1974) Die Einpassung dreier Rohrsängerarten (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, A. scirpaceus, A. arudinaceus) in ihre Lebensräume in bezug auf das Frequenzspektrum ihrer Reviergesänge. J Ornithol 115:192–212Google Scholar
  9. Kendeigh SC (1941) Birds of a prairie community. Condor 43:165–174Google Scholar
  10. Knapton RW (1979) Optimal size of territory in the claycolored sparrow, Spizella pallida. Can J Zool 57:1358–1370Google Scholar
  11. Krebs JR, Davies NB (1981) An introduction to behavioural ecology. Sinauer, Sunderland, MassGoogle Scholar
  12. Marten K, Marler P (1977) Sound transmission and its significance for animal vocalization I. Temperate habitats. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 2:271–290Google Scholar
  13. Marten K, Quine D, Marler P (1977)Sound transmission and its significance for animal vocalization II. Tropical forest habitats. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 2:291–302Google Scholar
  14. Martin GR (1981) Avian vocalizations and the sound interference model of roberts et al. Anim Behav 29:632–633Google Scholar
  15. Martin SG (1971) Polygyny in the Bobolink: habitat quality and the adaptive complex. PhD thesis, Oregon State University, CorvallisGoogle Scholar
  16. Morton ES (1975) Ecological sources of selection on avian sounds. Am Nat 109:17–34Google Scholar
  17. Nero RW (1950) A behavior study of the red-winged blackbird, II. Territoriality. Wilson Bull 68:129–150Google Scholar
  18. Orians GH (1980) Some adaptations of marsh-nesting black-birds. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  19. Orians GH, Christman GM (1968) A comparative study of the behavior of red-winged, tricolored, and yellow-headed blackbirds. Univ Calif Publ Zool 84Google Scholar
  20. Piercy JE, Embleton TFW, Sutherland LC (1977) Review of noise propagation in the atmosphere. J Acoust Soc Am 61:1403–1418Google Scholar
  21. Roberts J, Kacelnik A, Hunter HL (1981) The ground effect and acoustic communication. Anim Behav 29:633–634Google Scholar
  22. Stewart RE (1953) A life history of the yellowthroat. Wilson Bull 65:99–115Google Scholar
  23. Verner J (1965) Breeding biology of the long-billed marsh wren. Condor 67:6–60Google Scholar
  24. Welsh DA (1975) Savannah sparrow breeding and territoriality on a Nova Scotia dune beach. Auk 92:235–251Google Scholar
  25. Wiens JA (1973a) Interterritorial habitat variation in grasshopper and savannah sparrows. Ecology 54:877–884Google Scholar
  26. Wiens JA (1973b) Pattern and process in grassland bird communities. Ecol Monogr 43:237–270Google Scholar
  27. Willson MF (1966) Breeding ecology of the yellow-headed blackbird. Ecol Monogr 36:51–77Google Scholar
  28. Zimmerman JL (1971) The territory and its density dependent effect in Spiza americana. Auk 88:591–612Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan E. Cosens
    • 1
  • J. Bruce Falls
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations