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Landscape configuration influences Oma‘o (Myadestes obscurus) song diversity

January 25, 2023

Acoustic communication in the form of songs is a learned behavior in oscine that can be passed down from one generation to the next through cultural transmission. Over time songs can change when populations become isolated from one another, creating dialects that are distinct to a population. Habitat fragmentation is an isolating mechanism that can influence differences in songs between populations when there is little to no connectivity between fragments and fragment size can influence diversity of song traits. We characterized and analyzed songs of the ‘ōma‘o (Myadestes obscurus) in a naturally fragmented forest to determine how landscape variables influenced song differences between populations. We chose five fragments of different sizes and isolation to record songs of the ‘ōma‘o. We performed a correlation test to evaluate whether there was a relationship between fragment size and total syllables, and between unique syllables and degree of isolation. We also conducted a Mantel test to determine if geographic distance had an influence on song similarity. Our results indicated that songs from larger fragments tended to have higher syllable diversity, but neither connectivity nor distance was related to the number of unique or shared syllables found within a fragment, respectively. Overall, the results indicated that ‘ōma‘o songs are highly variable at the individual level and that there may be little to no syllable sharing within and among populations.

Publication Year 2023
Title Landscape configuration influences Oma‘o (Myadestes obscurus) song diversity
DOI 10.2984/76.3.6
Authors Nicole Fernandez, Kristina L. Paxton, Eben H. Paxton, Adam A. Pack, Patrick J. Hart
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pacific Science
Index ID 70247872
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center