Applicability of information theory to the quantification of responses to anthropogenic noise by Southeast Alaskan humpback whales

Laurance R. Doyle, Brenda Mccowan, Sean F. Hanser, Christopher Chyba, Taylor Bucci, J. Ellen Blue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy) to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian) noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalEntropy
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Fingerprint

whales
information theory
vessels
glaciers
channel capacity
background noise
health
entropy
acoustics

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic noise
  • Humpback whales
  • Information theory
  • Vocal behavior
  • Wildlife conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Applicability of information theory to the quantification of responses to anthropogenic noise by Southeast Alaskan humpback whales. / Doyle, Laurance R.; Mccowan, Brenda; Hanser, Sean F.; Chyba, Christopher; Bucci, Taylor; Ellen Blue, J.

In: Entropy, Vol. 10, No. 2, 06.2008, p. 33-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Doyle, Laurance R. ; Mccowan, Brenda ; Hanser, Sean F. ; Chyba, Christopher ; Bucci, Taylor ; Ellen Blue, J. / Applicability of information theory to the quantification of responses to anthropogenic noise by Southeast Alaskan humpback whales. In: Entropy. 2008 ; Vol. 10, No. 2. pp. 33-46.
@article{7a9c8e0b64f140248f75f36791fa3ca0,
title = "Applicability of information theory to the quantification of responses to anthropogenic noise by Southeast Alaskan humpback whales",
abstract = "We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy) to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian) noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.",
keywords = "Anthropogenic noise, Humpback whales, Information theory, Vocal behavior, Wildlife conservation",
author = "Doyle, {Laurance R.} and Brenda Mccowan and Hanser, {Sean F.} and Christopher Chyba and Taylor Bucci and {Ellen Blue}, J.",
year = "2008",
month = "6",
doi = "10.3390/entropy-e10020033",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "10",
pages = "33--46",
journal = "Entropy",
issn = "1099-4300",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Applicability of information theory to the quantification of responses to anthropogenic noise by Southeast Alaskan humpback whales

AU - Doyle, Laurance R.

AU - Mccowan, Brenda

AU - Hanser, Sean F.

AU - Chyba, Christopher

AU - Bucci, Taylor

AU - Ellen Blue, J.

PY - 2008/6

Y1 - 2008/6

N2 - We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy) to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian) noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.

AB - We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy) to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian) noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.

KW - Anthropogenic noise

KW - Humpback whales

KW - Information theory

KW - Vocal behavior

KW - Wildlife conservation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=45849145380&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=45849145380&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/entropy-e10020033

DO - 10.3390/entropy-e10020033

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:45849145380

VL - 10

SP - 33

EP - 46

JO - Entropy

JF - Entropy

SN - 1099-4300

IS - 2

ER -