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Woodland soundscapes: Investigating new methods for monitoring landscapes

Turner, Anthony (2018) Woodland soundscapes: Investigating new methods for monitoring landscapes. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:67421)

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Abstract

Biodiversity is an important provider of ecosystem services. There is a sense of urgency running through the scientific community regarding its protection and conservation. This urgency is fuelled by a wealth of research into the effects of habitat destruction, intensive agriculture, destructive industries (such as mining and oil exploration) and the insidious threat of climate change. It might reasonably be suggested that the biodiversity crisis we are facing today is in large part due to a lack of regulation around human-activities with regard to biodiversity impacts. In order to impose regulations, protecting biodiversity has been incentivised through various governmental and non-profit private-sector certification initiatives that aim to minimise the negative impacts that industry can have on the environment. Agri-environment schemes are largely governmental initiatives that aim to enhance the biodiversity and societal values of farmland. Timber certification initiatives, such as the Forest Stewardship Council, promote woodland management that takes into account the economic, environmental and social aspects of forestry with equal measure. Protection and enhancement of biodiversity is integral to achieving the environmental aims of certification. However, several studies have highlighted that many schemes (notably agri-environment schemes and some timber certification schemes) ultimately fall short of their projected targets, which is often due to a lack of suitable monitoring with regard to biodiversity. This is unsurprising since biodiversity monitoring is not a straightforward process. Many considerations need to be made when choosing suitable indicators of ecosystem health such as whether to measure species diversity or functional diversity. But perhaps one of the biggest issues is the ability of landowners and managers to contribute to efficient, objective, standardised data collection.

ecoacoustic methods to explore this offers an insight into a new means of investigating the impact of roads on acoustic biodiversity. The development of a low-cost automated recording unit is a significant contribution to the field of soundscape ecology in terms of encouraging participation by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector. Likewise, the use of a handheld recording unit and the application of traditional ecological survey methods provide evidence that soundscape/ecoacoustic studies that yield interesting, informative and biologically meaningful results can be done on a relatively low budget. As such this thesis offers a significant contribution to the field of soundscape ecology in terms of both data and logistics. It may be particularly relevant to researchers on a limited budget and/or the NGO and citizen science sector.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Tzanopoulos, Joseph
Thesis advisor: Fischer, Michael
Uncontrolled keywords: Soundscape, ecology, ecoacoustics, landscape monitoring
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 10:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2021 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/67421 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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