Chapter

Acoustic communication in the urban environment

Diego Gil and Henrik Brumm

in Avian Urban Ecology

Published in print November 2013 | ISBN: 9780199661572
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191810176 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199661572.003.0006
Acoustic communication in the urban environment

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One consequence of urbanization is the massive level of anthropogenic noise that animals have to cope with. Because birds use acoustic signals to communicate vital information, the masking of their vocalizations has potentially major effects on their fitness. This chapter explores the difficulties of acoustic communication in the urban habitat, the different solutions that birds may use to circumvent them, and the possible consequences this may have for sexual selection and speciation. The adverse effects of anthropogenic noise on birds, such as stress or hearing damage, are all related to masking of acoustic signals and other important biological sounds.

Keywords: birds; noise; acoustic communication; urban habitat; sexual selection; speciation; anthropogenic noise; bird song; vocalization

Chapter.  9983 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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