Tits, noise and urban bioacoustics

Trends Ecol Evol. 2004 Mar;19(3):109-10. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2003.12.006.


Humans, particularly in cities, are noisy. Researchers are only just beginning to identify the implications of an increase in noise for species that communicate acoustically. In a recent paper, Slabbekoorn and Peet show, for the first time, that some birds can respond to anthropogenically elevated noise levels by altering the frequency structure of their songs. Cities are fruitful grounds for research on the evolution of animal communication systems, with broader implications for conservation in human-altered environments.