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      Revealing the ecological content of long-duration audio-recordings of the environment through clustering and visualisation

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      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          Audio recordings of the environment are an increasingly important technique to monitor biodiversity and ecosystem function. While the acquisition of long-duration recordings is becoming easier and cheaper, the analysis and interpretation of that audio remains a significant research area. The issue addressed in this paper is the automated reduction of environmental audio data to facilitate ecological investigations. We describe a method that first reduces environmental audio to vectors of acoustic indices, which are then clustered. This can reduce the audio data by six to eight orders of magnitude yet retain useful ecological information. We describe techniques to visualise sequences of cluster occurrence (using for example, diel plots, rose plots) that assist interpretation of environmental audio. Colour coding acoustic clusters allows months and years of audio data to be visualised in a single image. These techniques are useful in identifying and indexing the contents of long-duration audio recordings. They could also play an important role in monitoring long-term changes in species abundance brought about by habitat degradation and/or restoration.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Birdsong and anthropogenic noise: implications and applications for conservation.

          The dramatic increase in human activities all over the world has caused, on an evolutionary time scale, a sudden rise in especially low-pitched noise levels. Ambient noise may be detrimental to birds through direct stress, masking of predator arrival or associated alarm calls, and by interference of acoustic signals in general. Two of the most important functions of avian acoustic signals are territory defence and mate attraction. Both of these functions are hampered when signal efficiency is reduced through rising noise levels, resulting in direct negative fitness consequences. Many bird species are less abundant near highways and studies are becoming available on reduced reproductive success in noisy territories. Urbanization typically leads to homogenization of bird communities over large geographical ranges. We review current evidence for whether and how anthropogenic noise plays a role in these patterns of decline in diversity and density. We also provide details of a case study on great tits (Parus major), a successful urban species. Great tits show features that other species may lack and make them unsuitable for city life. We hypothesize that behavioural plasticity in singing behaviour may allow species more time to adapt to human-altered environments and we address the potential for microevolutionary changes and urban speciation in European blackbirds (Turdus merula). We conclude by providing an overview of mitigating measures available to abate noise levels that are degrading bird breeding areas. Bird conservationists probably gain most by realizing that birds and humans often benefit from the same or only slightly modified measures.
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            Soundscape Ecology: The Science of Sound in the Landscape

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              • Article: not found

              Acoustic monitoring in terrestrial environments using microphone arrays: applications, technological considerations and prospectus

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: SoftwareRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Funding acquisitionRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                1 March 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 3
                Affiliations
                Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia
                University of Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-34413
                10.1371/journal.pone.0193345
                5832236
                29494629
                © 2018 Phillips et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 14, Tables: 2, Pages: 27
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship
                Award Recipient :
                Yvonne Phillips acknowledges the receipt of an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Physical Sciences
                Physics
                Acoustics
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Birds
                Physical Sciences
                Physics
                Acoustics
                Bioacoustics
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Bioacoustics
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Animals
                Invertebrates
                Arthropoda
                Insects
                Physical Sciences
                Physics
                Acoustics
                Quiet
                Engineering and Technology
                Equipment
                Audio Equipment
                Microphones
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Behavior
                Animal Behavior
                Animal Signaling and Communication
                Bird Song
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Zoology
                Animal Behavior
                Animal Signaling and Communication
                Bird Song
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Zoology
                Ornithology
                Bird Song
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Custom metadata
                Data are available from the Ecosounds Acoustic Workbench. There are 1200 links provided in the supporting information "S4 File: Sample minutes", that provide access to the data used in this research. The audio files can be accessed through the following links. The project URL for the Ecosounds Acoustics Workbench is https://www.ecosounds.org/projects/1029/sites/1192 and https://www.ecosounds.org/projects/1029/sites/1193 Additionally, our data is backed up on QUT’s own HPC storage.

                Uncategorized

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