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Bioacoustic Articles in Behaviour 145 no. 8 (August 2008)

To: "Bioacoustic-L" <>
Subject: Bioacoustic Articles in Behaviour 145 no. 8 (August 2008)
From: "Frank Veit" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 21:30:24 +0200
Gammon, DE, MC Hendrick & MC (2008) Vocal communication in a songbird with a novel song repertoire. Behaviour 145: 1003-1026.

Why do individuals in many songbird species sing multiple song types? Previous studies have often described the current utility of possessing a vocal signal repertoire, but this may not explain why repertoires evolve. We looked for repertoire function in black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) populations with a song type repertoire that is probably derived from the single song type found in most populations across the species' geographic range. Through observations of dawn singing, and natural and simulated territorial countersinging interactions, we tested several hypotheses on how a repertoire might facilitate improved vocal communication. We failed to find significant evidence supporting an adaptive origin for song type repertoires. Although we found that naturally countersinging males matched song type approximately twice as often as expected by chance, matching was not associated with conflict escalation in either natural or simulated contests and, therefore, the exact function of song type matching in these birds remains unclear. In addition, we found that novel song types frequently appear in small isolated populations, which suggests that a repertoire might evolve simply as the nonadaptive result of imperfect song-learning combined with geographic isolation.

Amorim, MCP & ASM Neves (2008) Male painted gobies (Pomatoschistus pictus) vocalise to defend territories. Behaviour 145: 1065-1083.

Many fish species emit sounds in agonistic contexts. During direct confrontations sounds are typically produced during the display phase in conjunction with visual exhibitions. Here we studied sound production during territorial defence in captive painted gobies, Pomatoschistus pictus, and related acoustic parameters with male traits and the date of recording (Julian day, i.e., with the approach of the peak of the breeding season). Territorial males emitted drumming sounds during displays that involved darkening the chin and fins, spreading fins and quivering the body. Drums were trains of low frequency pulses (?23 pulses) repeated every 27 ms and usually lasting under a second. Drums were produced in short sequences of sounds (bursts). All acoustic parameters differed significantly among males. Drum and burst duration, and drum number of pulses increased significantly with male size. Calling duration (including drum, burst duration and drum number of pulses) also increased significantly with Julian date and presented a high intra-male variability, suggesting that these parameters may also depend on the individual's motivation. We provide the first report for agonistic sound production in sand gobies and give evidence that sound parameters contain information that can be used during mutual assessment in contests over territories.

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