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2 February 2021 Do Decibels Matter? A Review of Effects of Traffic Noise on Terrestrial Small Mammals and Bats
Paula Antonina Bednarz
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Noise generated by human activities has increased over the last decades as a result of human population growth, global transport and urbanization. The understanding of the effect of noise on different animal populations is mandatory to help making informed decisions in the field of natural resource management. While managers often focus on rare, charismatic species, it is important to examine the effects of noise on species that are common because abundant species have strong ecological impacts. This paper describes the influence of traffic noise on representatives of two orders of mammals: rodents and bats. I reviewed field and laboratory studies that inspected the influence of traffic noise on the following aspects of rodent and bat ecology: (1) activity and behaviour, (2) abundance and habitat use, and (3) foraging. Bats tended to be negatively affected by traffic noise, although certain species demonstrated a considerable degree of tolerance to this disturbance. The effects of traffic noise on rodents were more varied, but typically consisted of detrimental changes in vigilance-foraging trade-off. However, research on rodents appears biased towards social species which rely on alarm calls for protection.

Paula Antonina Bednarz "Do Decibels Matter? A Review of Effects of Traffic Noise on Terrestrial Small Mammals and Bats," Polish Journal of Ecology 68(4), 323-333, (2 February 2021).
Received: 1 October 2020; Published: 2 February 2021
anthropogenic noise
noise disturbance
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