Ecoacoustics: the Ecological Investigation and Interpretation of Environmental Sound

Biosemiotics 8 (3):493-502 (2015)
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Abstract

The sounds produced by animals have been a topic of research into animal behaviour for a very long time. If acoustic signals are undoubtedly a vehicle for exchanging information between individuals, environmental sounds embed as well a significant level of data related to the ecology of populations, communities and landscapes. The consideration of environmental sounds for ecological investigations opens up a field of research that we define with the term ecoacoustics. In this paper, we draw the contours of ecoacoustics by detailing: the main theories, concepts and methods used in ecoacoustic research, and the numerous outcomes that can be expected from the ecological approach to sound. Ecoacoustics has several theoretical and practical challenges, but we firmly believe that this new approach to investigating ecological processes will generate abundant and exciting research programs.

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