The acoustic structure of birdsongs is determined by ecological and social factors. Moreover, the founder effect can occur when a few colonizers bring a small subset of the song diversity from a source population to a newly established population, generating the acoustic features of its songs. Around 2000, the Japanese bush warbler (Cettia diphone) naturally colonized Minami-Daito, an oceanic island in the northwest Pacific. This raises the question of whether the songs in this population have changed through adaptation to the insular environment or maintained the features of songs in the mainland population. In this study, the acoustic characteristics of Japanese bush warbler songs on Minami-Daito Island at present (i.e., approximately 20 years after colonization) were compared with the songs of conspecifics on the mainland and another island. The acoustic structure of one of two basic song types on this island did not differ from that on the mainland. The other song type had a simpler structure on the island than on the mainland. Analyses of intonation structure showed that a certain pattern of frequency increase and decrease among sound elements was rare (< 10%) on the mainland but dominant on the island. The song characteristics substantially overlapped between the island and the mainland, and have not changed on the island since its colonization. These results suggest that the song characteristics on Minami-Daito Island can be explained by the founder effect. The songs on this island may change adaptively over a long period. Continuous investigation to follow the changes is required.
Vol. 39 • No. 6
Vol. 39 • No. 6