We are surrounded by a complex arrangement of sounds creating acoustic patterns in space and time which constitute the soundscapes that humans and animals experience (Pijanowski et al. 2011). Soundscapes all around the globe are increasingly affected by anthropogenic sounds. The impacts of this anthropogenic noise pollution are not only shaped by the physical and acoustic features of the landscape, but also by the characteristics of the individual hearing the noise, making intraspecific variation among individuals central to our understanding of the impacts of noise pollution. Harding et al. (2019) provides a timely review focusing on understanding intraspecific variation in response to noise pollution, which is key in promoting a more evidence-based approach to the subject. Here, we would like to further highlight how and why intraspecific variation necessitates long-term acoustic and behavioral monitoring as a vital tool to correctly interpret the effects of noise pollution on wildlife, a crucial step towards effective mitigation and conservation.
Lehnardt, Y., Wong, B. B. M., & Berger-Tal, O. (2019). Intraspecific variation in animal responses to anthropogenic noise through long-term monitoring: a comment on Harding et al. Behavioral Ecology, 30(6), 1514-1515. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz161