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author:("aim, matas")
1.  Linking amphibian call structure to the environment: the interplay between phenotypic flexibility and individual attributes 
Behavioral Ecology  2011;22(3):520-526.
The structure of the environment surrounding signal emission produces different patterns of degradation and attenuation. The expected adjustment of calls to ensure signal transmission in an environment was formalized in the acoustic adaptation hypothesis. Within this framework, most studies considered anuran calls as fixed attributes determined by local adaptations. However, variability in vocalizations as a product of phenotypic expression has also been reported. Empirical evidence supporting the association between environment and call structure has been inconsistent, particularly in anurans. Here, we identify a plausible causal structure connecting environment, individual attributes, and temporal and spectral adjustments as direct or indirect determinants of the observed variation in call attributes of the frog Hypsiboas pulchellus. For that purpose, we recorded the calls of 40 males in the field, together with vegetation density and other environmental descriptors of the calling site. Path analysis revealed a strong effect of habitat structure on the temporal parameters of the call, and an effect of site temperature conditioning the size of organisms calling at each site and thus indirectly affecting the dominant frequency of the call. Experimental habitat modification with a styrofoam enclosure yielded results consistent with field observations, highlighting the potential role of call flexibility on detected call patterns. Both, experimental and correlative results indicate the need to incorporate the so far poorly considered role of phenotypic plasticity in the complex connection between environmental structure and individual call attributes.
PMCID: PMC3078827  PMID: 22479134
acoustic adaptation hypothesis; call adjustment; Hypsiboas pulchellus; local adaptation; phenotypic plasticity; scale
2.  Cross-taxon congruence and environmental conditions 
BMC Ecology  2010;10:18.
Diversity patterns of different taxa typically covary in space, a phenomenon called cross-taxon congruence. This pattern has been explained by the effect of one taxon diversity on taxon diversity, shared biogeographic histories of different taxa, and/or common responses to environmental conditions. A meta-analysis of the association between environment and diversity patterns found that in 83 out of 85 studies, more than 60% of the spatial variability in species richness was related to variables representing energy, water or their interaction. The role of the environment determining taxa diversity patterns leads us to hypothesize that this would explain the observed cross-taxon congruence. However, recent analyses reported the persistence of cross-taxon congruence when environmental effect was statistically removed. Here we evaluate this hypothesis, analyzing the cross-taxon congruence between birds and mammals in the Brazilian Cerrado, and assess the environmental role on the spatial covariation in diversity patterns.
We found a positive association between avian and mammal richness and a positive latitudinal trend for both groups in the Brazilian Cerrado. Regression analyses indicated an effect of latitude, PET, and mean temperature over both biological groups. In addition, we show that NDVI was only associated with avian diversity; while the annual relative humidity, was only correlated with mammal diversity. We determined the environmental effects on diversity in a path analysis that accounted for 73% and 76% of the spatial variation in avian and mammal richness. However, an association between avian and mammal diversity remains significant. Indeed, the importance of this link between bird and mammal diversity was also supported by a significant association between birds and mammal spatial autoregressive model residuals.
Our study corroborates the main role of environmental conditions on diversity patterns, but suggests that other important mechanisms, which have not been properly evaluated, are involved in the observed cross-taxon congruence. The approaches introduced here indicate that the prevalence of a significant association among taxa, after considering the environmental determinant, could indicate both the need to incorporate additional processes (e.g. biogeographic and evolutionary history or trophic interactions) and/or the existence of a shared trend in detection biases among taxa and regions.
PMCID: PMC2914051  PMID: 20637092

Results 1-2 (2)