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    Listening to tropical forest soils

    Metcalf, Oliver C ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3441-2591, Baccaro, Fabricio, Barlow, Jos, Berenguer, Erika, Bradfer-Lawrence, Tom, Chesini Rossi, Liana, do Vale, Érica Marinho and Lees, Alexander C ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7603-9081 (2024) Listening to tropical forest soils. Ecological Indicators, 158. 111566. ISSN 1470-160X

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    Abstract

    Acoustic monitoring has proven to be an effective tool for monitoring biotic soundscapes in the marine, terrestrial, and aquatic realms. Recently it has been suggested that it could also be an effective method for monitoring soil soundscapes, but has been used in very few studies, primarily in temperate and polar regions. We present the first study of soil soundscapes using passive acoustic monitoring in tropical forests, using a novel analytical pipeline allowing for the use of in-situ recording of soundscapes with minimal soil disturbance. We found significant differences in acoustic index values between burnt and unburnt forests and the first indications of a diel cycle in soil soundscapes. These promising results and methodological advances highlight the potential of passive acoustic monitoring for large-scale and long-term monitoring of soil biodiversity. We use the results to discuss research priorities, including relating soil biophony to community structure and ecosystem function, and the use of appropriate hardware and analytical techniques.

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