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We investigated how communication distance influenced the efficacy of communication by studying the effects of two attributes of male chorus sounds, namely, reduction in sound level and degradation of temporal sound structure, on attraction and accuracy of female phonotaxis in gray treefrogs, Hyla versicolor. For this, we conducted acoustic playback experiments, using synthetic calls and natural calls recorded at increasing distances from a focal male as stimuli. We found that the degradation of temporal structure had a greater effect on signal attractiveness than did the reduction in sound level, and that increasing sound level preferentially affected the attractiveness of proximally recorded calls, with less temporal degradation. Unlike signal attraction, accuracy of female localization increased systematically with the sound level. These results suggest that the degradation of temporal fine structure from both the chorus and signal-environmental effects imposes a limit for effective communication distances for female treefrogs in nature.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology
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