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New article on the effects of noise on frog physiology and behavior

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Subject: New article on the effects of noise on frog physiology and behavior
From: Jennifer Tennessen <>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2014 09:44:09 -0500
Dear Colleagues,

My coauthors and I are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

Tennessen, J.B., Parks, S.E., Langkilde, T. 2014. Traffic noise causes physiological stress and impairs breeding migration behaviour in frogs. Conservation Physiology 2 (1): cou032. doi: 10.1093/conphys/cou032

The paper is Open Access, and is available at:

Human-generated noise has profoundly changed natural soundscapes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, imposing novel pressures on ecological processes. Despite interest in identifying the ecological consequences of these altered soundscapes, little is known about the sublethal impacts on wildlife population health and individual fitness. We present evidence that noise induces a physiological stress response in an amphibian and impairs mate attraction in the natural environment. Traffic noise increased levels of a stress-relevant glucocorticoid hormone (corticosterone) in female wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), and impaired female travel toward a male breeding chorus in the field, providing insight into the sublethal consequences of acoustic habitat loss. Because prolonged elevated levels of corticosterone can have deleterious consequences on survival and reproduction, and impaired mate attraction can impact population persistence, our results suggest a novel pathway by which human activities may be imposing population-level impacts on globally declining amphibians.


Jennifer B. Tennessen
PhD Candidate, Ecology
The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Biology
208 Mueller Laboratory
University Park, PA  16802

Office: (814) 867-2252
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