Linking acoustic diversity to compositional and configurational heterogeneity in mosaic landscapes

Barbaro, L., Sourdril, A., Froidevaux, J.S.P. et al. Linking acoustic diversity to compositional and configurational heterogeneity in mosaic landscapes. Landsc Ecol (2022).


Context : There is a long-standing quest in landscape ecology for holistic biodiversity metrics accounting for multi-taxa diversity in heterogeneous habitat mosaics. Passive acoustic monitoring of biodiversity may provide integrative indices allowing to investigate how soundscapes are shaped by compositional and configurational heterogeneity of mosaic landscapes.

Objectives : We tested the effects of dominant habitat and landscape heterogeneity on acoustic diversity indices across a large range of mosaic landscapes from two long-term socio-ecological research areas in Occitanie, France and Arizona, USA.

Methods: We assessed acoustic diversity by automated recording for 44 landscapes distributed along gradients of compositional and configurational heterogeneity. We analyzed the responses of six acoustic indices and a composite multiacoustic index to habitat type and multi-scale landscape metrics for three time periods: 24 h-diel cycles, dawns and nights.

Results: Landscape mosaics dominated by permanent grasslands in Occitanie and woodlands in Arizona produced the highest values of acoustic diversity. Moreover, several indices including H, ADI, NDSI, NP and the multiacoustic index consistently responded to edge density in both study regions, but with contrasting patterns, increasing in Occitanie and decreasing in Arizona. Landscape configuration was a key driver of acoustic diversity for diel and nocturnal soundscapes, while dawn soundscapes depended more on landscape composition.

Conclusions: Acoustic diversity was correlated more with configurational than compositional heterogeneity in both regions, with contrasting effects explained by the interplay between biogeography and land use history. We suggest that multiple acoustic indices are needed to properly account for complex responses of soundscapes to large-scale habitat heterogeneity in mosaic landscapes.

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