Master of Science (M.S.)
Degree Granting Department
Geography, Environment and Planning
Joni Downs, Ph.D.
Thomas Crisman, Ph.D.
Philip Van Beynen, Ph.D.
Anurans, Bioacoustics, Ecoacoustics, Glyphosate, Invasive Species
Invasive exotic species are one of the biggest threats to ecosystems in Florida, and land managers instill numerous methods to try and control them. Mechanical treatment, such as mowing, and chemical treatment, such as foliar spraying with the herbicide glyphosate, are two methods of invasive species removal. While the effectiveness of these management practices has been thoroughly observed and studied, little research has been done on their impacts to the ecological soundscape. The ecological soundscape refers to all biotic and abiotic sounds produced in the environment. Species presence and acoustic complexity was measured before and immediately following a mechanical and chemical treatment of the invasive flora species known as Urochloa maxima, guinea grass, at Terra Ceia Preserve State Park in Manatee County, Florida. Vocalizations were captured using Wildlife Acoustics SongMeter 4 autonomous recording units. Acoustic complexity was determined using the Acoustic Complexity Index which can be solved for using R Studio. The cluster analysis tool on the Wildlife Acoustics Kaleidoscope Pro sound analysis software was used to identify specific species presence within the experimental plots. The results attempted to identify any changes in the soundscape by observing trends in the Acoustic Complexity Index after invasive exotic plant treatments compared to pretreatment complexity and the control plots. In addition, the research assessed how effective acoustic complexity and soundscape recordings can be in determining environmental health and biodiversity. The chemical and mechanical treatments on the experimental plots did not display significant impacts on the acoustic complexity values; ACI appeared to be more impacted by seasonal conditions. Kaleidoscope Pro in conjunction to ACI values could not provide suitable evidence of any strong correlation to environmental health and biodiversity; however, it did identify specific vocalizing species such as anurans, ex. frogs and toads, that could provide additional insight as environmental indicators. Further research on the impacts of human induced environmental management should be done using autonomous recording units to continuously assess specific acoustic indicators as a more efficient data collection method.
Scholar Commons Citation
Wagner, Connor D., "The Short-Term Effects of Different Removal Methods of Urochloa Maxima, Guinea Grass, on Acoustic Complexity" (2020). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.