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Data from: Chronic anthropogenic noise disrupts glucocorticoid signaling and has multiple effects on fitness in an avian community

Citation

Kleist, Nathan J. et al. (2018), Data from: Chronic anthropogenic noise disrupts glucocorticoid signaling and has multiple effects on fitness in an avian community, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bt45d

Abstract

Anthropogenic noise is a pervasive pollutant that decreases environmental quality by disrupting a suite of behaviors vital to perception and communication. However, even within populations of noise-sensitive species, individuals still select breeding sites located within areas exposed to high noise levels, with largely unknown physiological and fitness consequences. We use a study system in the natural gas fields of northern New Mexico to test the prediction that exposure to noise causes glucocorticoid-signaling dysfunction and decreases fitness in a community of secondary cavity nesting birds. In accordance with these predictions, and across all species, we find strong support for noise exposure decreasing baseline corticosterone in adults and nestlings and, conversely, increasing acute stressor-induced corticosterone in nestlings. We also document fitness consequences with increased noise in the form of reduced hatching success in the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana), the species most likely to nest in noisiest environments. Nestlings of all three species exhibited accelerated growth of both feathers and body size at intermediate noise amplitudes compared to low or higher amplitudes. Our results are consistent with recent experimental laboratory studies, and show that noise functions as a chronic, inescapable stressor. Anthropogenic noise likely impairs environmental risk perception by species relying on acoustic cues, and, ultimately, leads to impacts on fitness. Our work, when taken together with recent efforts to document noise across the landscape, implies potential widespread, noise-induced chronic stress coupled with reduced fitness for many species reliant on acoustic cues.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: CNH-141417

Location

Southwest US (NM)