Earth acoustic threats

The increasing pressure of human activities on ecosystems poses unprecedented risks for biodiversity, human well-being, and the overall health of the Earth. We are experiencing both widespread and drastic changes to the natural landscape together with significant depletions of natural resources and contamination of the atmosphere, water, and soil. Pollution of these primary resources is altering many biological, geological, and meteorological processes, which are ultimately having dramatic consequences on many earth system functions. However, sounds produced by anthropogenic activities are largely overlooked as a serious threat to natural systems.. This type of acoustic perturbation may seriously disrupt communication mechanisms, causing both short-term and long-term disturbances in populations, including humans. Other threats, such as habitat fragmentation, biological invasions or climate change, may also alter phenological, behavioural or ecological aspects of acoustic communication in animal species and communities.

Animal communication

Many organisms use acoustic mechanisms to communicate, forage and reproduce. Bird song is one of the best known examples where acoustic cues are used to create and maintain complex intra and inter-specific relationships. This acoustic information can reveal important information on ecological patterns and processes over a range of scales, from an individual, to a population, and all the way up to a whole community.

Soundscape approach

The soundscape, defined as all of the sounds in particular location, presents a very promising area for new investigations and research. An intact functioning soundscape plays a key role in maintaining animal populations because the quality of the soundscape directly influences biological processes, including but not limited to territorial settlement, pair formation and predation avoidance.

Aim of the symposium

Despite the popularity of bioacoustic studies and related fields like psychoacoustics and acoustic ecology, there are very few works in the literature that have investigated the relationships between the soundscape and the landscape. Therefore, the aim of this symposium is to create an opportunity for scholars and students to meet and discuss theories, methods and the development of applications for analysing soundscapes across a wide range of spatial-temporal scales.

The meeting will also be a great occasion to discuss the possibility of creating a new scientific society to:

  1. Develop ecological and acoustic themes
  2. Educate younger generations on the ecology of sound
  3. Coordinate research projects and create opportunities for young scientists to develop ideas and projects.

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