Landscape Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 745–758

Linking ecological condition and the soundscape in fragmented Australian forests

  • David Tucker
  • Stuart H. Gage
  • Ian Williamson
  • Susan Fuller
Research Article

Abstract

Natural landscapes are increasingly subjected to anthropogenic pressure and fragmentation resulting in reduced ecological condition. In this study we examined the relationship between ecological condition and the soundscape in fragmented forest remnants of south-east Queensland, Australia. The region is noted for its high biodiversity value and increased pressure associated with habitat fragmentation and urbanisation. Ten sites defined by a distinct open eucalypt forest community dominated by spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora ssp. variegata) were stratified based on patch size and patch connectivity. Each site underwent a series of detailed vegetation condition and landscape assessments, together with bird surveys and acoustic analysis using relative soundscape power. Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that the measurement of relative soundscape power reflects ecological condition and bird species richness, and is dependent on the extent of landscape fragmentation. We conclude that acoustic monitoring technologies provide a cost effective tool for measuring ecological condition, especially in conjunction with established field observations and recordings.

Keywords

Ecological condition Soundscape Acoustic monitoring Landscape Fragmentation Patch size Connectivity Bird species richness 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Tucker
    • 1
  • Stuart H. Gage
    • 2
  • Ian Williamson
    • 1
  • Susan Fuller
    • 1
  1. 1.Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering FacultyQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Global Observatory for Ecosystem ServicesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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