Katharine Aha | Party Politics
Living in the city represents a great challenge for organisms that are exposed to the novel environmental conditions inherent to urbanization. Recent studies have highlighted the ecological impact that urbanization poses on the acoustic phenotype and singing routines of birds. However, the organization and structure of avian dawn choruses in urban settings remains largely unexplored. In this study, we assessed the temporal structure of avian dawn choruses in an intra-urban area and a peri-urban forest using bipartite network analyses. We predicted a random network structuring of dawn choruses across time at the intra-urban area, while expected a non-random structure (i.e., modular or nested) at the peri-urban forest. While we detected different groups of birds vocalizing together temporarily, following a modular pattern in both studied conditions, only the one from the peri-urban forest showed a sequential temporal structure of dawn choruses. Avian dawn choruses from both intra-urban and peri-urban areas were mainly comprised by phylogenetically unrelated species (i.e., random phylogenetic structure), also exhibiting low overlap on singing frequencies. Our results are in agreement with the temporal partitioning of the acoustic space in the peri-urban forest. Our findings also suggest that the absence of temporally-structured modules of bird dawn choruses at heavily-urbanized areas could be related to the depauperization of the avian community at intra-urban areas as a sequel of ecological filtering, as well as the consequent importance of the dominance of the acoustic space by invasive species.