Effects of traffic noise, land use types and ecotones on the distribution of resident birds in a natural reserve in the Ruhr area, Germany
* Presenting author
While being one of the most densely populated and formerly heavily industrialized regions of Germany, the Ruhr area still offers space for many diverse ecosystems whose preservation is regulated by law. Nevertheless auditory impairments, especially by traffic noise and due to spatial restrictions, are likely. This study examines the acoustic effects of traffic noise on the spatial distribution of birds in the natural reserve ‘Im Siesack,’ Dortmund, guided by the research question: How does land use, road noise, and ecotones alter soundscapes and affect avian distribution?. To answer the research questions soundscape measurements were taken throughout the case study area (n=204) and analyzed utilizing five acoustic indices from the Soundecology package in R Studio. The results of the indices were used in a statistical analysis to investigate (1) correlations between the distance to roads and the amount of biophony and (2) the differences between biophonic soundscape indices in various land uses and ecotones. Significant correlations between distance to roads and the amount of biophony and significant differences between soundscapes in different land use types and ecotones were found. Consideration of the results as related to soundscapes and nature reserve policy in Germany are discussed.