Listening for change: quantifying the impact of ecological restoration on soundscapes in a tropical dry forest
Tropical forest host a large portion of global biodiversity and carbon reserves. Heavy loss of these landscapes calls for restoration projects to conserve biodiversity as well as other ecosystem services related to human livelihood. Tropical dry forests are understudied compared to tropical wet forests, though they contain similar quantities of biodiversity, carbon, and sources for livelihood. One threat to tropical forest restoration is species invasion, which is linked to reduced native vegetation and habitat.
Goals and Methods
The authors conduct a field study in Bicchiya, a tiger conservation landscape of India. These forests fuel many local livelihoods and house a large quantity of agricultural landscapes. Removing Lantana camara, an invasive species, is one current practice for restoration geared at allowing more growing space for native vegetation. The authors are interested in restoration impacts for wildlife habitat and aim to see how the species removal impacts bird communities. Both vegetation data and acoustic data on bird sounds are taken for analysis.
Conclusions and Takeaways
The authors show that bioacoustics may be used as an indicator of restoration impacts on fauna and soundscapes in a forested landscape. They conclude that while removal of L. camara does not significantly affect the quantity of bird species at a site, it does influence community composition. Overall, these results are promising evidence to support invasive species removal, but the authors state that further research is required for more concrete conclusions.
Listening for change: quantifying the impact of ecological restoration on soundscapes in a tropical dry forest. Restoration Ecology. 2023;31(4). doi:10.1111/rec.13864.