Species interactions and the structure of complex communication networks

06 January 2014

Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienc (PNAS)

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314337111 Authors: Joseph A. Tobias, Robert Planqué, Dominic L. Cram and Nathalie Seddon

View Journal Article / Working Paper

Social signals used in multispecies choruses are generally assumed to be partitioned across temporal, spatial, or design axes to minimize the costs of misidentification. In contrast, the authors show that Amazonian bird species signaling in temporal and spatial proximity use acoustic signals that are more similar in design than expected by chance. They also show evidence that this pattern emerges because phylogenetically conserved (or potentially convergent) signals mediate interspecific competition among species with similar ecological niches. Together, these results suggest that acoustic choruses can be fundamentally organized by social communication extending beyond species boundaries and that such communication networks are inherently clustered by increased stereotypy and synchrony among species.