One of the greatest challenges in our century is understanding how anthropogenic pressures affect biodiversity and dimensioning future impacts expected with global changes. Climatic and environmental changes influence organisms’ physiologic responses, which potentially translates into changes in behavioral and ecological processes, such as the timing and intensity of different behaviors, reproduction, and migration. Changes in the timing of activities might alter the likelihood of ecological interactions between different species, and the consequences to the structuring and maintenance of ecological communities are still unclear. Many of the knowledge gaps stem from the absence of data that can be used to shed light on these aspects.
In this presentation, I will walk through how modern techniques in acoustic data acquisition have been opening opportunities for improving our understanding of species’ ecology. Passive acoustic monitoring enables the sampling of standardized data on species behaviors related to acoustic communication. With the collection of high temporal resolution data, diverse aspects of diel and seasonal patterns of species’ acoustic activity can be assessed. Building on a >3y large-scale acoustic monitoring network of anuran calling activity over diverse hyper-diverse biomes in Brazil, we investigated whether on-site temperature and humidity play congruent roles in determining the acoustic activity of anuran species located at distinct regional climatic and ecological conditions.
By investigating how calling activity varies over populations distributed in different climactic contexts, our findings indicate how the presence versus the peak of calling activity shows noncongruent relationships across populations located at warmer regional conditions. The capacity of shifting thermal breadths (the range of temperatures over which species elicit physiologically demanding behaviors) with changing temperatures provides clues on potential adaptative mechanisms to cope with changing temperatures. With this work, we illustrate how biological information extracted from passive acoustic monitoring data provides important clues on species’ behavior and natural history aspects that shed light on the ecology of species in a changing world.