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Dolphins adjust species-specific frequency parameters to compensate for increasing background noise.

Papale E, Gamba M, Perez-Gil M, Martin VM, Giacoma C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In this study we explored the effects of anthropogenic and natural noise on the acoustic properties of a dolphin communication signal, the whistle.Results show that dolphins increase the whistles' frequency parameters with lower variability in the presence of anthropogenic noise, and increase the end frequency of their whistles when confronted with increasing natural noise.This study provides the first evidence that the synergy among SPLs has a role in shaping the whistles' structure of these three species, with respect to both natural and anthropogenic noise.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Torino, Life Sciences and Systems Biology Department, Torino, Italy.

ABSTRACT
An increase in ocean noise levels could interfere with acoustic communication of marine mammals. In this study we explored the effects of anthropogenic and natural noise on the acoustic properties of a dolphin communication signal, the whistle. A towed array with four elements was used to record environmental background noise and whistles of short-beaked common-, Atlantic spotted- and striped-dolphins in the Canaries archipelago. Four frequency parameters were measured from each whistle, while Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) of the background noise were measured at the central frequencies of seven one-third octave bands, from 5 to 20 kHz. Results show that dolphins increase the whistles' frequency parameters with lower variability in the presence of anthropogenic noise, and increase the end frequency of their whistles when confronted with increasing natural noise. This study provides the first evidence that the synergy among SPLs has a role in shaping the whistles' structure of these three species, with respect to both natural and anthropogenic noise.

No MeSH data available.


Distribution of the mean values of the frequency parameters considered in this study for Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba and Delphinus delphis within the range of the noise one-third-octave bands.Circles represent the mean value and the standard error of SPLs of underwater noise, measured at the central frequency of each one-third-octave band for each species.
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pone.0121711.g004: Distribution of the mean values of the frequency parameters considered in this study for Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba and Delphinus delphis within the range of the noise one-third-octave bands.Circles represent the mean value and the standard error of SPLs of underwater noise, measured at the central frequency of each one-third-octave band for each species.

Mentions: For all species, the mean minimum frequency is included within the band from 7.1 to 8.9 kHz the maximum frequency in the band from 14.1 to 17.8 kHz for striped and short-beaked common dolphins and in the band from 17.8 to 22.4 kHz for Atlantic spotted dolphins. Patterns of beginning and end frequency are more variable among species: the beginning frequency of the Atlantic spotted dolphin falls within the band from 8.9 to 11.2 kHz and the end frequency between the 14.1–17.8 kHz band, while the end frequency is lower than the beginning frequency and falls within the band from 11.2 to 14.1 kHz for striped and short-beaked common dolphins (Fig. 4).


Dolphins adjust species-specific frequency parameters to compensate for increasing background noise.

Papale E, Gamba M, Perez-Gil M, Martin VM, Giacoma C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Distribution of the mean values of the frequency parameters considered in this study for Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba and Delphinus delphis within the range of the noise one-third-octave bands.Circles represent the mean value and the standard error of SPLs of underwater noise, measured at the central frequency of each one-third-octave band for each species.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390328&req=5

pone.0121711.g004: Distribution of the mean values of the frequency parameters considered in this study for Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba and Delphinus delphis within the range of the noise one-third-octave bands.Circles represent the mean value and the standard error of SPLs of underwater noise, measured at the central frequency of each one-third-octave band for each species.
Mentions: For all species, the mean minimum frequency is included within the band from 7.1 to 8.9 kHz the maximum frequency in the band from 14.1 to 17.8 kHz for striped and short-beaked common dolphins and in the band from 17.8 to 22.4 kHz for Atlantic spotted dolphins. Patterns of beginning and end frequency are more variable among species: the beginning frequency of the Atlantic spotted dolphin falls within the band from 8.9 to 11.2 kHz and the end frequency between the 14.1–17.8 kHz band, while the end frequency is lower than the beginning frequency and falls within the band from 11.2 to 14.1 kHz for striped and short-beaked common dolphins (Fig. 4).

Bottom Line: In this study we explored the effects of anthropogenic and natural noise on the acoustic properties of a dolphin communication signal, the whistle.Results show that dolphins increase the whistles' frequency parameters with lower variability in the presence of anthropogenic noise, and increase the end frequency of their whistles when confronted with increasing natural noise.This study provides the first evidence that the synergy among SPLs has a role in shaping the whistles' structure of these three species, with respect to both natural and anthropogenic noise.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Torino, Life Sciences and Systems Biology Department, Torino, Italy.

ABSTRACT
An increase in ocean noise levels could interfere with acoustic communication of marine mammals. In this study we explored the effects of anthropogenic and natural noise on the acoustic properties of a dolphin communication signal, the whistle. A towed array with four elements was used to record environmental background noise and whistles of short-beaked common-, Atlantic spotted- and striped-dolphins in the Canaries archipelago. Four frequency parameters were measured from each whistle, while Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) of the background noise were measured at the central frequencies of seven one-third octave bands, from 5 to 20 kHz. Results show that dolphins increase the whistles' frequency parameters with lower variability in the presence of anthropogenic noise, and increase the end frequency of their whistles when confronted with increasing natural noise. This study provides the first evidence that the synergy among SPLs has a role in shaping the whistles' structure of these three species, with respect to both natural and anthropogenic noise.

No MeSH data available.