[MARMAM] New papaer: Dolphins Adjust Species-Specific Frequency Parameters to Compensate for Increasing Background Noise

Elena Papale elena.papale at iamc.cnr.it
Tue Apr 14 06:54:52 PDT 2015

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of my co-authors, I'm pleased to announce the publication of  
a new paper:

"Dolphins Adjust Species-Specific Frequency Parameters to Compensate  
for Increasing Background Noise"
Elena Papale, Marco Gamba, Monica Perez-Gil, Vidal Martel Martin,  
Cristina Giacoma

PLoS ONE 10(4): e0121711. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121711

A PDF version of the paper is available online at:

or via email request to: elena.papale at iamc.cnr.it


An increase in ocean noise levels could interfere with acoustic  
communication of marine mammals. In this study we explored the effects  
of anthropogenic and natural noise on the acoustic properties of a  
dolphin communication signal, the whistle. A towed array with four  
elements was used to record environmental background noise and  
whistles of short-beaked common-, Atlantic spotted- and  
striped-dolphins in the Canaries archipelago. Four frequency  
parameters were measured from each whistle, while Sound Pressure  
Levels (SPL) of the background noise were measured at the central  
frequencies of seven one-third octave bands, from 5 to 20 kHz. Results  
show that dolphins increase the whistles’ frequency parameters with  
lower variability in the presence of anthropogenic noise, and increase  
the end frequency of their whistles when confronted with increasing  
natural noise. This study provides the first evidence that the synergy  
among SPLs has a role in shaping the whistles' structure of these  
three species, with respect to both natural and anthropogenic noise.


Elena Papale, PhD
Institute for Coastal Marine Environment
National Research Council
Via del Mare 3
91021 Torretta Granitola (TP)
elena.papale at iamc.cnr.it
elenabiancapapale at gmail.com

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