Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (1): 22423.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022423

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Interdisciplinary development trends of contemporary bioacoustics and the opportunities for China

Zhishu Xiao1,7,*(), Jianguo Cui2, Daiping Wang3, Zhitao Wang4, Jinhong Luo5, Jie Xie6   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents in Agriculture, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2. Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041
    3. Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    4. Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072
    5. School of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079
    6. Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210016
    7. School of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2022-07-23 Accepted:2023-01-16 Online:2023-01-20 Published:2023-01-31
  • Contact: *Zhishu Xiao, E-mail:


Background: Contemporary bioacoustics is an interdisciplinary science by combining biology and ecology with acoustics. Through the mutual penetration and integration of technological innovation and many disciplinary fields from natural and social science, it has gradually formed the characteristics of transdisciplinary fields, such as strong compatibility, high technological dependence, and wide application scenarios. Though bioacoustics has expanded into many interdisciplinary fields and application scenarios, a comprehensive understanding of bioacoustics as a discipline in scientific communities at home and abroad are still lacking. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically evaluate the development status, main research issues and frontier topics of contemporary bioacoustics.

Scope of bioacoustics: Contemporary bioacoustics is a new interdisciplinary science that studies the relationship between sounds of organisms and their ecological environment. With the technological innovation and application of interdisciplinary fields such as digital recording, electronics and microelectronics, artificial intelligence and information science, the research depth and breadth of contemporary bioacoustics are continually expanding, and it has gradually formed a diversified frontier issues with biology, ecology and other disciplines. Currently, bioacoustics is mainly guided by theories and methods from basic disciplines of biology and ecology. The research focus is to reveal the interaction and scientific theories of various sounds among organisms, and among organisms, human beings and the environment in the natural and man-made environment, so as to provide theoretical basis and solutions for human beings to recognize, protect and utilize bioacoustic resources.

Aims: By reviewing relevant literature at home and abroad, combined with our practice and thinking, this paper focuses on the interdisciplinary properties and key topics of contemporary bioacoustics, and introduces frontier topics and development trends in animal bioacoustics, ecological acoustics, underwater bioacoustics, environmental bioacoustics, conservation bioacoustics, computational bioacoustics, and bioacoustic monitoring and analysis. The status and development opportunities of bioacoustics research in China are also evaluated and analyzed, and the future discipline construction is prospected.

Conclusions: Bioacoustic research is conducive to the fully understanding and scientific use of bioacoustic resources and related scientific theories. Its achievements can be used as scientific guidance and decision-making basis for life health and biosafety, the conservation and utilization of bioacoustic resources and the protection of ecological environment. In sum, interdisciplinary development of bioacoustics can provide high-quality services for the progress of ecological civilization and the construction of a beautiful and healthy China.

Key words: animal bioacoustics, ecoacoustics, underwater bioacoustics, environmental bioacoustics, conservation bioacoustics, computational bioacoustics, anthropogenic noise, passive acoustic monitoring, interdisciplinary science