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Calling sites and acoustic partitioning in species of the Hyla nana and rubicundula groups (Anura, Hylidae)

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We analysed spatial and acoustic partitioning among four species of Hyla belonging to two species-groups: nana (H. nana and H. sanborni) and rubicundula (H. elianeae and H. jimi). Field activities were conducted at three permanent ponds, from 1998 through 2001. Four attributes of the calling sites were analysed: perch height, distance of the perch from the edge of the pond, type of perch (vegetation) and the individual's position on the perch. There was extensive overlap in the four calling-site variables analysed. However, we found spatial segregation did occur in calling site height and the distance of perches from pond edges. Bioacoustic analyses revealed behavioural differences among species in calling activity, both time of onset and peak calling in chorus. There was acoustic partitioning among species the fundamental frequency of the advertisement calls, principally as a function of the temporal structure (e.g. note duration, rate of note repetition, duration and rate of repetition of the calling pulses). We propose that differences in physical attributes of calling site and in characteristics of calls allow these species to exist in sympatry.
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Keywords: ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION; CALLING SITE; NICHE BREADTH; TREEFROGS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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