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Creators/Authors contains: "Derryberry, Graham E."

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  3. Actions taken to control the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have conspicuously reduced motor vehicle traffic, potentially alleviating auditory pressures on animals that rely on sound for survival and reproduction. Here, by comparing soundscapes and songs across the San Francisco Bay Area before and during the recent statewide shutdown, we evaluated whether a common songbird responsively exploited newly emptied acoustic space. We show that noise levels in urban areas were substantially lower during the shutdown, characteristic of traffic in the mid-1950s. We also show that birds responded by producing higher performance songs at lower amplitudes, effectively maximizing communication distance and salience. These findings illustrate that behavioral traits can change rapidly in response to newly favorable conditions, indicating an inherent resilience to long-standing anthropogenic pressures such as noise pollution.

     
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  4. The tropics are the source of most biodiversity yet inadequate sampling obscures answers to fundamental questions about how this diversity evolves. We leveraged samples assembled over decades of fieldwork to study diversification of the largest tropical bird radiation, the suboscine passerines. Our phylogeny, estimated using data from 2389 genomic regions in 1940 individuals of 1283 species, reveals that peak suboscine species diversity in the Neotropics is not associated with high recent speciation rates but rather with the gradual accumulation of species over time. Paradoxically, the highest speciation rates are in lineages from regions with low species diversity, which are generally cold, dry, unstable environments. Our results reveal a model in which species are forming faster in environmental extremes but have accumulated in moderate environments to form tropical biodiversity hotspots.

     
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