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27 December 2015 Acoustic parameters of sounds emitted by Sotalia guianensis: dialects or acoustic plasticity
Dalila T. Leão, Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho, Flávio J. L. Silva
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Selective pressure from the environment on species may select adaptations as a whole, including the specific context of acoustics. Some authors report that the acoustic repertoire of Sotalia guianensis presents dialects as a geographical reflection. However, others propose that the environmental characteristics are the factor that imposes these variations. The present study evaluated if S. guianensis modifies its sound emissions at the Curral Cove (CC) and the Guaraíras Lagoon Complex (GLC), different habitats at similar latitudes. At the GLC, dolphins use higher whistle frequencies as well as higher number of click per second, facts that may be related to sound precision for communication between individuals and prey capture. Variations in the dolphins' sounds may be related to differences in the environments such as natural background noise—biotic and abiotic—and characteristics such as turbidity, temperature, salinity, and modification in sound propagation due to depth and bottom properties. The pulsed calls' sound category did not present modification between habitats probably due to context in which they are used since they occur during high physical contact. It is possible that the variation of the sound parameters between the CC and GLC environments is a reflection of the species' adaptive potential, since a population can adjust the sounds emitted by its individuals to the environment's features, revealing acoustic plasticity.

© 2015 American Society of Mammalogists,
Dalila T. Leão, Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho, and Flávio J. L. Silva "Acoustic parameters of sounds emitted by Sotalia guianensis: dialects or acoustic plasticity," Journal of Mammalogy 97(2), 611-618, (27 December 2015).
Received: 18 June 2015; Accepted: 13 October 2015; Published: 27 December 2015

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