Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (1): 22337.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022337

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of bird migration on the temporal patterns of the wetland soundscape in the downstream region of the Tumen River Basin of China

Shizheng Wang1,2,3, Yifei Sun1,2,3, Zhenzhen Li1,2,3, Yue Shu1,2,3, Jiawei Feng1,2,3, Tianming Wang1,2,3,*()   

  1. 1. National Forestry and Grassland Administration Key Laboratory for Conservation Ecology of Northeast Tiger and Leopard, Beijing 100875
    2. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Engineering, Beijing 100875
    3. College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
  • Received:2022-06-16 Accepted:2022-11-24 Online:2023-01-20 Published:2022-12-03
  • Contact: Tianming Wang


Aims: Bioacoustics may provide an effective method for monitoring changes in wetland bird activity and soundscape, yet phenological and seasonal patterns remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine the seasonal and diel soundscapes, as well as the utility of bioacoustics in detecting changes in songbird phenology in the downstream region of the Tumen River Basin of China.

Methods: Between November 2020 and December 2021, 91,988 acoustic recordings were collected at 10 sites from the Jingxin Wetland, a stopover ground for numerous migratory bird species. For each sample, we record the acoustic complexity index (ACI), bioacoustic index (BIO), acoustic evenness index (AEI), normalized difference soundscape index (NDSI) and power spectral density (PSD) values.

Results: Our analysis show that seasonal shifts and bird migration have a significant effect on the composition and diversity of wetland soundscape. The 1-2 kHz daytime vocal signals of wild geese dominated the soundscapes of two migration periods (February-April and October-November), resulting in a significant decrease in NDSI and a significant increase in PSD at 1-2 kHz. Acoustic indices are sensitive to bird migration, but changes in bioacoustics were less abrupt in the fall, suggesting that spring recordings are better suited to indicate phenology. Summer birds and insects dominated the soundscape of non-migration period.

Conclusion: We find that the soundscape of the Tumen River’s downstream wetland exhibits clear annual and diurnal rhythm. Our experiment demonstrates the use of multiple acoustic indices in conjunction can effectively monitor changes in migratory bird phenology, particularly the time and population size at which wild geese fly back north in the spring. Furthermore, we conclude that acoustic recordings, in combination with acoustic indices, may be a useful method for tracking shifts in songbird communities caused by climate change.

Key words: ecoacoustics, soundscape monitoring, acoustic indices, power spectral density, Tumen River’s downstream region, bird migration