Anthropogenic noise disrupts mate searching in Gryllus bimaculatus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:Bent, AM, Ings, TC, Mowles, SL
Journal:Behavioral Ecology
Date Published:Apr-10-2018
Nyckelord:acoustic signals, anthropogenic noise, Gryllus bimaculatus, mate searching, sexual signals

Many animals use acoustic communication as a means of sending important biological information, such as their location, to potential receivers. However, anthropogenic noise is known to affect the ability of some species to either produce or receive signals, which may influence their reproductive success. In this study, we investigate the effect of anthropogenic noise on the mate-searching behaviors of the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. To accomplish this, phonotaxis trials were conducted with female field crickets under different acoustic conditions, and their ability to detect and move towards conspecific male calls was assessed. The presence of traffic noise reduced the likelihood that the female would approach the male calls and also reduced the time that the female spent attending to the calling stimulus before making her decision. However, the presence of white noise did not reduce the likelihood of approaching the calling speaker, indicating that the average amplitude of anthropogenic noise is, alone, not important in this conflict, but frequency and fluctuations in the stimulus or other characteristics might be. This study supports the hypothesis that anthropogenic noise does indeed influence the detectability of acoustic mate location signals, thus disrupting mate searching behavior.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith