Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Singing In The Rainforest: Public Vs. Private Signaling By A Tropical Rainforest Bird

Date:
February 14, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
According to the Chinese proverb, a bird sings because it has a song, not because it has an answer. A team of French and Brazilian researchers, however, may have the answer as to how the song of Brazilian white-browed warbler has become so well-adapted to the acoustic properties of the rainforest environment.

According to the Chinese proverb, a bird sings because it has a song, not because it has an answer. A team of French and Brazilian researchers, however, may have the answer as to how the song of Brazilian white-browed warbler has become so well-adapted to the acoustic properties of the rainforest environment.

Understanding the evolution of acoustic communication systems in animals is a hot topic in evolutionary biology and one of the main challenges is to understand how environmental pressures drive this evolution. Mathevon and his colleagues show that the song of the white-browed warbler, a species living in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest is particularly well-tailored to the acoustic properties of the environment, with its dense vegetation and can vary in its acoustic properties depending on whether the message is "public" or "private."

Territorial males signal their species identity using a song acoustic feature resistant to propagation, making this information available to remote individuals. Conversely, information concerning their individual identity is supported by song features susceptible to propagation, and thus restricted to neighbours.

Besides this public versus private signalling, males can locate the singers by using propagation-induced song modifications. The design of this communication thus appears well matched to the acoustic constraints of the rainforest and to the ecological requirements of the species.

These results emphasize that the efficiency of a sound communication system results from a coding/decoding process particularly well tuned to the acoustic properties of the environment. This allows the establishment of efficient local communication networks in the particular habitat of a tropical forest.

The tropical rainforest ecosystem provides a unique opportunity to experimentally test theoretical models of acoustic communication. This emphasizes the critical importance of tropical areas for addressing key biological questions and reinforces the urgency for protecting such major biodiversity hotspots as those of the Brazilian Atlantic forest.

Citation: Mathevon N, Aubin T, Vielliard J, da Silva M-L, Sebe F, et al (2008) Singing in the Rain Forest: How a Tropical Bird Song Transfers Information. PLoS ONE 3(2): e1580. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001580 http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0001580

Related audio: "Territorial (control) song (211 KB wav file)." http://www.plos.org/press/pone-03-02-mathevon1.wav


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Singing In The Rainforest: Public Vs. Private Signaling By A Tropical Rainforest Bird." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080213090527.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, February 14). Singing In The Rainforest: Public Vs. Private Signaling By A Tropical Rainforest Bird. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080213090527.htm
Public Library of Science. "Singing In The Rainforest: Public Vs. Private Signaling By A Tropical Rainforest Bird." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080213090527.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins