Little by little the spring is calmer

In spring, the birds sing. It is written in the great book of nature. But it seems that, in recent years, these songs have become less vibrant, more boring. The sign of a change in the composition of communities that could well contribute to further weaken the link between nature and humanity.

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Rediscover the pleasure of listening song of the birds. It is one of the little pleasures of spring. And it plays a key role in how we build our connection to nature. On how we manage to keep it too. But today a international team Led by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UK) tells us that these sounds that we associate with spring are changing. The happy melodies that we used to hear early in the morning become less audible and more monotonous.

To reach this conclusion, researchers have reconstructed the soundscapes of more than 200,000 sites over the past 25 years. All thanks to individual species records and monitoring data collected by citizen scientists.

Why is this job so important? Because linking close contact with nature is reputed to improve our health physical and ours happiness, our psychological well-being. As well as it should encourage us to adopt behaviors of conservation of the environment. Gold, “Birdsong plays an important role in defining the quality of our experiences with nature, but the widespread decline in populations and changes in distribution in response to global warming means that the acoustic characteristics of natural soundscapes are subject to change ‘, explains Simon Butler, researcher, in a release.

Nature-humans, a bond in danger

And it is precisely these acoustic characteristics that the researchers quantified using four indices. Indices determined by the complexity and variety of songs species studied, but that give an image of each soundscape usually. “Both diversity and intensity are in decline due to changes in the composition of bird communities.”, the researchers conclude.

The relationship between the two is not easy to establish. And even more difficult to predict. However, the researchers note that sites that have experienced greater decreases in total abundance or species richness also show greater decreases in acoustic diversity and intensity. “However, the initial structure of the community and how the song characteristics of the species complement each other also play an important role in determining the evolution of soundscapes., stresses Catriona Morrison, researcher. For example, the loss of species such as the lark or nightingale, which sing rich and complex songs, is likely to have a greater impact on the complexity of the soundscape than the loss of one species, corvids or seagulls. However, this will also depend on the number of species present at the site and their type. “

“Unfortunately, we are living a Environmental crisis world and we now know that the diminishing connection between humans and nature can contribute, continues Catriona Morrison. As we collectively become less aware of our natural environment, we also begin to notice or worry less about its deterioration. Studies like ours aim to raise awareness of these losses in a tangible and relevant way and demonstrate their potential impact on human well-being. “

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Gabrielle Rhodes

"Friendly travel trailblazer. Certified gamer. Evil bacon practitioner. Analyst. Problem solver."

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