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Data from: Spatio-temporal scaling of biodiversity in acoustic tropical bird communities

Cite this dataset

de Camargo, Ulisses; Roslin, Tomas; Ovaskainen, Otso (2019). Data from: Spatio-temporal scaling of biodiversity in acoustic tropical bird communities [Dataset]. Dryad.


Automated analysis of acoustic communities is a rapidly emerging approach for the characterization and monitoring of biodiversity. To evaluate its utility, we should verify that such “bioacoustics” can accurately detect ecological signal in spatiotemporal acoustic data. Targeting the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project sites in Brazil, we ask: What is the relative contribution of the spatial, temporal and habitat dimension to variation in bird acoustic communities in a previously fragmented tropical rainforest? Does the functional diversity of bird communities scale similarly to space and time as does species diversity, when both are recorded by bioacoustics means? Overall, is the imprint of landscape fragmentation 30 years ago still audible in the present‐day soundscape? We sampled forty‐four sites in secondary forest and 107 sites in old‐growth forest, resulting in 11,000 hours of audio recordings. We detected 60 bird species with satisfactory precision and recovered a linear log‐log relation between sampling time and species diversity. Sites in primary forest host more species than sites in secondary forest, but the difference decreased with sampling time, as the slope was slightly higher in secondary than primary forests. Functional diversity, as exposed by vocalizing birds, accumulates faster than does species diversity. The similarity among local communities decreases with distance in both time and space, but stability in time is remarkably high: two acoustic samples from the same site one year (or more) apart prove more similar than two samples taken at the same time but from sites situated just a few hundred meters apart. These findings suggest that habitat modification can be heard as a long‐lasting imprint on the soundscape of regenerating habitats and identify Soundscape–Area and Soundscape–Time Relations as a promising tool for biodiversity research, applied biomonitoring and restoration ecology.

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