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Long Recording Sequences: How to Track the Intra-Individual Variability of Acoustic Signals

Abstract : Recently developed acoustic technologies - like automatic recording units - allow the re- cording of long sequences in natural environments. These devices are used for biodiversity survey but they could also help researchers to estimate global signal variability at various (individual, population, species) scales. While sexually-selected signals are expected to show a low intra-individual variability at relatively short time scale, this variability has never been estimated so far. Yet, measuring signal variability in controlled conditions should prove useful to understand sexual selection processes and should help design acoustic sampling schedules and to analyse long call recordings. We here use the overall call pro- duction of 36 male treefrogs (Hyla arborea) during one night to evaluate within-individual variability in call dominant frequency and to test the efficiency of different sampling methods at capturing such variability. Our results confirm that using low number of calls underesti- mates call dominant frequency variation of about 35% in the tree frog and suggest that the assessment of this variability is better by using 2 or 3 short and well-distributed records than by using samples made of consecutive calls. Hence, 3 well-distributed 2-minutes records (beginning, middle and end of the calling period) are sufficient to capture on average all the nightly variability, whereas a sample of 10 000 consecutive calls captures only 86% of it. From a biological point of view, the call dominant frequency variability observed in H. arborea (116Hz on average but up to 470 Hz of variability during the course of the night for one male) challenge about its reliability in mate quality assessment. Automatic acoustic re- cording units will provide long call sequences in the near future and it will be then possible to confirm such results on large samples recorded in more complex field conditions.
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Contributor : Nathalie Lyvet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, May 30, 2016 - 11:29:20 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 30, 2022 - 11:12:08 AM

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Thierry Lengagne, Doris Gomez, Rémy Josserand, Yann Voituron. Long Recording Sequences: How to Track the Intra-Individual Variability of Acoustic Signals. PLoS ONE, 2015, 10 : e0123828. (5), pp.1-11. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0123828⟩. ⟨hal-01323196⟩



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