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A bioacoustic paper in PLoS ONE

Subject: A bioacoustic paper in PLoS ONE
From: JÃrÃme Sueur <>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 16:11:12 +0100
Sorry for doing my own advertisement...

Read the open-access, full-text article here:
Rapid Acoustic Survey for Biodiversity Appraisal
by J Sueur, S Pavoine, O Hamarlynck, S Duvail

Biodiversity assessment remains one of the most difficult challenges
encountered by ecologists and conservation biologists. This task is
becoming even more urgent with the current increase of habitat loss.
Many methodsâfrom rapid biodiversity assessments (RBA) to all-taxa
biodiversity inventories (ATBI)âhave been developed for decades to
estimate local species richness. However, these methods are costly and
invasive. Several animalsâbirds, mammals, amphibians, fishes and
arthropodsâproduce sounds when moving, communicating or sensing their
environment. Here we propose a new concept and method to describe
biodiversity. We suggest to forego species or morphospecies
identification used by ATBI and RBA respectively but rather to tackle
the problem at another evolutionary unit, the community level. We also
propose that a part of diversity can be estimated and compared through a
rapid acoustic analysis of the sound produced by animal communities. We
produced Î and Î diversity indexes that we first tested with 540
simulated acoustic communities. The Î index, which measures acoustic
entropy, shows a logarithmic correlation with the number of species
within the acoustic community. The Î index, which estimates both
temporal and spectral dissimilarities, is linearly linked to the number
of unshared species between acoustic communities. We then applied both
indexes to two closely spaced Tanzanian dry lowland coastal forests.
Indexes reveal for this small sample a lower acoustic diversity for the
most disturbed forest and acoustic dissimilarities between the two
forests suggest that degradation could have significantly decreased and
modified community composition. Our results demonstrate for the first
time that an indicator of biological diversity can be reliably obtained
in a non-invasive way and with a limited sampling effort. This new
approach may facilitate the appraisal of animal diversity at large
spatial and temporal scales.



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