Restricted responsiveness to noise interference in two anurans from the southern temperate forest

Penna, Mario Claudio; CISTERNAS, JAVIERA; Toloza, Jessica


Animals adopt different strategies to communicate by means of sound in noisy environments such that some species increase, while others decrease their vocal activity in the presence of interference. Anuran amphibians from diverse latitudes exhibit both kinds of responses. Recent studies have shown that males of Batrachyla taeniata and Batrachyla antartandica from the temperate austral forest do not call in response to the presentation of advertisement calls of sympatric congeneric species. In contrast, Batrachyla leptopus responds to these signals in a similar way as to conspecific calls. The responsiveness of B. taeniata to natural abiotic interference has also been tested and found that noises of such sources produce strong increases in vocal activity. To assess the diversity in responsiveness to acoustic intrusion in this group, we exposed males of B. leptopus and B. antartandica to prolonged pre-recorded natural abiotic noises of wind, creek, rain, and to a band-pass noise centered at 2,000 Hz, at 67 dB Sound Pressure Level (SPL). The subjects did not increase their vocal activity significantly when exposed to these sounds and to band-pass noise at increasing intensities (55–79 dB SPL). These results contrast with the increase in vocal activity observed previously in B. taeniata to continuous abiotic noise and point to the existence of diverse strategies to confront acoustic intrusion among related species. The lack of vocal activation observed also contrasts with the responsiveness of B. leptopus to heterospecific signals, but parallels the lack of response to such sounds in B. antartandica. Furthermore, the results obtained contrast with the responsiveness of these species to synthetic prolonged sounds observed in previous studies, suggesting that the modes of responses to acoustic intrusion may depend on previous experience, rather than having a species-specific nature.

Más información

Título de la Revista: ETHOLOGY
Volumen: 123
Editorial: Wiley
Fecha de publicación: 2017
Página de inicio: 748
Página final: 760
Idioma: English