Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (7): 806-820.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020114

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Progress and outlook for soundscape ecology

Ying Zhao1,2, Xiaoli Shen1,*(), Sheng Li3, Yanyun Zhang4, Renhua Peng5, Keping Ma1   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    4 College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
    5 Key Laboratory of Noise and Vibration Research, Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190
  • Received:2020-08-11 Accepted:2020-08-28 Online:2020-07-20 Published:2020-09-29
  • Contact: Xiaoli Shen


Soundscape ecology studies sound patterns across different spatial and temporal scales, which reflects coupled natural-human dynamics in a changing landscape. Here, we synthesized a list of peer-reviewed studies on soundscape ecology to summarize the conceptual framework of the field, the methodology used, and acoustic indices developed from these studies. Studies on soundscape ecology are currently focused on the following aspects: (1) acoustic composition of soundscape; (2) acoustic interactions between soundscape components; (3) temporal patterns and spatial variability in the soundscapes; (4) the development of acoustic indices for biodiversity monitoring. We suggest the following as focuses for future studies in soundscape ecology and biodiversity conservation: (1) establishing a systematic acoustic monitoring network and data management platform; (2) developing new methods for data collection and analysis (e.g., recording matrix and machine learning algorithm); and (3) treating soundscape ecology as an important resource for future research and conservation.

Key words: soundscape monitoring, acoustic indices, acoustic niche, biodiversity monitoring, automated acoustic recording