Sound and urban change: “sounds of nature” and upscale life in Austin, Texas

Austin's "Triangle" in north campus (2003)

Austin, Texas. North campus, in 2003

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“The Triangle”  in 2011, when I made the recording.

“Male frogs call to attract females for mating and to defend territories from rival males. Female frogs of some species prefer lower-pitched calls, which indicate larger, more experienced males. Acoustic interference occurs when background noise reduces the active distance or the distance over which an acoustic signal can be detected. Birds are known to call at a higher pitch or frequency in urban noise, decreasing acoustic interference from low-frequency noise. Using Bayesian linear regression, we investigated the effect of traffic noise on the pitch of advertisement calls in two species of frogs, the southern brown tree frog (Litoria ewingii) and the common eastern froglet (Crinia signifera). We found evidence that L. ewingii calls at a higher pitch in traffic noise, with an average increase in dominant frequency of 4.1 Hz/dB of traffic noise, and a total effect size of 123 Hz.
This frequency shift is smaller than that observed in birds, but is still large enough to be detected by conspecific frogs and confer a significant benefit to the caller. Mathematical modelling predicted a 24% increase in the active distance of a L. ewingii call in traffic noise with a frequency shift of this size. Crinia signifera may also call at a higher pitch in traffic noise, but more data are required to be confident of this effect. Because frog calls are innate rather than learned, the frequency shift demonstrated by L. ewingii may represent an evolutionary adaptation to noisy conditions. The phenomenon of frogs calling at a higher pitch in traffic noise could therefore constitute an intriguing trade-off between audibility and attractiveness to potential mates.” Parris et al. 2009. read it here

Triangle, Austin

The Triangle in 2012

“The Triangle has reshaped the way people live, work and play in the state capital. We are located just north of the University of Texas and close to all forms of recreation and entertainment. We are also just minutes from downtown Austin.

These upscale apartment homes are part of an impressive 22-acre mixed-use community, also named, The Triangle, that will unfold to include 529 apartment homes; over 120,000 square feet of retail, commercial, restaurant establishments; and a new city park complete with a jogging trail winding around a peaceful pond. Good things come in threes. You can live, work and play at The Triangle.

The Triangle is a place of luxury for Austin’s urbanites. Bold, beautiful, balanced, this pedestrian-oriented community provides an unparalleled residential experience in one of America’s best cities. Live outside of the box – move into The Triangle.” – The Triangle

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