Standard Standard

Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient. / Shannon, Graeme; McKenna, Megan F.; Wilson-Henjum, Grete; Angeloni, Lisa; Crooks, Kevin; Wittemyer, George.

In: Behavioral Ecology, 06.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

HarvardHarvard

Shannon, G, McKenna, MF, Wilson-Henjum, G, Angeloni, L, Crooks, K & Wittemyer, G 2019, 'Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient', Behavioral Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz200

APA

Shannon, G., McKenna, M. F., Wilson-Henjum, G., Angeloni, L., Crooks, K., & Wittemyer, G. (2019). Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient. Behavioral Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz200

CBE

Shannon G, McKenna MF, Wilson-Henjum G, Angeloni L, Crooks K, Wittemyer G. 2019. Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient. Behavioral Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz200

MLA

VancouverVancouver

Shannon G, McKenna MF, Wilson-Henjum G, Angeloni L, Crooks K, Wittemyer G. Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient. Behavioral Ecology. 2019 Dec 6. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz200

Author

Shannon, Graeme ; McKenna, Megan F. ; Wilson-Henjum, Grete ; Angeloni, Lisa ; Crooks, Kevin ; Wittemyer, George. / Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient. In: Behavioral Ecology. 2019.

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient

AU - Shannon, Graeme

AU - McKenna, Megan F.

AU - Wilson-Henjum, Grete

AU - Angeloni, Lisa

AU - Crooks, Kevin

AU - Wittemyer, George

PY - 2019/12/6

Y1 - 2019/12/6

N2 - Increasing anthropogenic noise is having a global impact on wildlife, particularly due to the masking of crucial acoustical communication. However, there have been few studies examining the impacts of noise exposure on communication in free-ranging terrestrial mammals. We studied alarm calls of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) across an urban gradient to explore vocal adjustment relative to different levels of noise exposure. There was no change in the frequency 5%, peak frequency or duration of the alarm calls across the noise gradient. However, the minimum frequency – a commonly used, yet potentially compromised metric – did indeed show a positive relationship with noise exposure. We suspect this is a result of masking of observable call properties by noise, rather than behavioural adjustment. In addition, the proximity of conspecifics and the distance to the perceived threat (observer) did affect the frequency 5% of alarm calls. These results reveal that prairie dogs do not appear to be adjusting their alarm calls in noisy environments but likely do in relation to their social context and the proximity of a predatory threat. Anthropogenic noise can elicit a range of behavioural and physiological responses across taxa, but elucidating the specific mechanisms driving these responses can be challenging, particularly as these are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Our research sheds light on how prairie dogs appear to respond to noise as a source of increased risk, rather than as a distraction or through acoustical masking as shown in other commonly studied species (e.g. fish, songbirds, marine mammals).

AB - Increasing anthropogenic noise is having a global impact on wildlife, particularly due to the masking of crucial acoustical communication. However, there have been few studies examining the impacts of noise exposure on communication in free-ranging terrestrial mammals. We studied alarm calls of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) across an urban gradient to explore vocal adjustment relative to different levels of noise exposure. There was no change in the frequency 5%, peak frequency or duration of the alarm calls across the noise gradient. However, the minimum frequency – a commonly used, yet potentially compromised metric – did indeed show a positive relationship with noise exposure. We suspect this is a result of masking of observable call properties by noise, rather than behavioural adjustment. In addition, the proximity of conspecifics and the distance to the perceived threat (observer) did affect the frequency 5% of alarm calls. These results reveal that prairie dogs do not appear to be adjusting their alarm calls in noisy environments but likely do in relation to their social context and the proximity of a predatory threat. Anthropogenic noise can elicit a range of behavioural and physiological responses across taxa, but elucidating the specific mechanisms driving these responses can be challenging, particularly as these are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Our research sheds light on how prairie dogs appear to respond to noise as a source of increased risk, rather than as a distraction or through acoustical masking as shown in other commonly studied species (e.g. fish, songbirds, marine mammals).

KW - acoustics, mammal, anthropogenic disturbance, communication, masking, predation

U2 - 10.1093/beheco/arz200

DO - 10.1093/beheco/arz200

M3 - Article

JO - Behavioral Ecology

JF - Behavioral Ecology

SN - 1045-2249

ER -