Effects of traffic noise on tree frog stress levels, immunity, and color signaling

Abstract : During the last decade, many studies have focused on the detrimental effects of noise pollution on acoustic communication. Surprisingly, although it is known that noise exposure strongly influences health in humans, studies on wildlife remain scarce. In order to gain insight into the consequences of traffic noise exposure, we experimentally manipulated traffic noise exposure as well as the endocrine status of animals to investigate physiological and phenotypic consequences of noise pollution in an anuran species. We showed that noise exposure increased stress hormone level and induced an immunosuppressive effect. In addition, both traffic noise exposure and stress hormone application negatively impacted H. arborea vocal sac coloration. Moreover, our results suggest profound changes in sexual selection processes because the best quality males with initial attractive vocal sac coloration were the most impacted by noise. Hence, our study suggests that the recent increases in anthropogenic noise worldwide might affect a broader range of animal species than previously thought, because of alteration of visual signals and immunity. Generalizing these results to other taxa is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity in an increasingly noisy world.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 23, 2017 - 10:22:56 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 2:28:02 PM

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Mathieu Troïanowski, Nathalie Mondy, Adeline Dumet, Caroline Arcanjo, Thierry Lengagne. Effects of traffic noise on tree frog stress levels, immunity, and color signaling. Conservation Biology, Wiley, 2017, 31 (5), pp.1132 - 1140. ⟨10.1111/cobi.12893⟩. ⟨hal-01621263⟩

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