soundscape ecology

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Ecosystems by Ear: It’s About Time

To paraphrase Yogi Berra, you can observe a lot by listening

It was interesting to hear a report from NPR’s Richard Harris on a “new” branch of science called “soundscape ecology.” Harris interviewed Purdue landscape ecologist Bryan Pijanowski, who is part of a group of scientists advancing a “research agenda” to fully integrate the discipline into the study of ecosystems.

Bernie Krause, recording a soundscape in the Sycamore Creek area of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.

“We’re trying to understand how sounds can be used as measures of ecosystem health,” Pijanowski told Harris. Pijanowski is hardly the first to make this connection. An article co-authored by him and seven colleagues for the the March issue of the journal BioScience cites references back to 1969 (and gives a nod to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which appeared in 1962). Continue reading