Presentation Title

Boat traffic in Bocas Del Toro, Panama associated with selection for lower and louder toadfish (Amphichthys cryptocentrus) calls.

Project Collaborators

Dr. Laura May-Collado

Time

1pm-3pm

Location

Grand Maple Ball Room

Abstract

The toadfish is an important acoustic contributor to the local marine soundscape of Bocas del Toro. Toadfish emit mating calls to attract females to their burrows to spawn. Given that male toadfish calling behavior determines their reproductive success, boat traffic is expected to affect their acoustic behavior. This study evaluates the effects of boat traffic on toadfish call acoustic structure by comparing two sites within the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama that vary in boat traffic. The study finds the potential presence of three acoustic toadfish species that varied in call contour. One of the acoustic species, called here as ‘flat species’ was found in both study sites. Overall, this ‘flat species’ call was significantly shorter in duration, lower in frequency, and higher in amplitude in the site with high boat traffic than in the site with low boat traffic. The results suggest that noise associated with boat traffic may be selecting for lower and louder signals in noisy habitats. Given the importance of toadfish as health indicators of marine communities these results are important as they indicate how humans are changing their calls and interactions.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Laura May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Boat traffic in Bocas Del Toro, Panama associated with selection for lower and louder toadfish (Amphichthys cryptocentrus) calls.

The toadfish is an important acoustic contributor to the local marine soundscape of Bocas del Toro. Toadfish emit mating calls to attract females to their burrows to spawn. Given that male toadfish calling behavior determines their reproductive success, boat traffic is expected to affect their acoustic behavior. This study evaluates the effects of boat traffic on toadfish call acoustic structure by comparing two sites within the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama that vary in boat traffic. The study finds the potential presence of three acoustic toadfish species that varied in call contour. One of the acoustic species, called here as ‘flat species’ was found in both study sites. Overall, this ‘flat species’ call was significantly shorter in duration, lower in frequency, and higher in amplitude in the site with high boat traffic than in the site with low boat traffic. The results suggest that noise associated with boat traffic may be selecting for lower and louder signals in noisy habitats. Given the importance of toadfish as health indicators of marine communities these results are important as they indicate how humans are changing their calls and interactions.