Journal of Ecoacoustics

(ISSN: 2516-1466) Open Access Journal
JEA 2017, 1(1), 6; doi: 10.22261/JEA.R7YFP0

Environmental factors could constrain the use of long-range vocal signals in solitary tuco-tucos (Ctenomys; Rodentia, Ctenomyidae) reproduction

1 Ethology Section, Sciences College, University of the Republic of Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 Aug 2017 / Accepted: 2017-11-06 / Published: 2017-12-05
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Abstract

Ctenomys are mainly solitary subterranean rodents. Life underground has advantages (protection against predators, environmental control and reduced competition) but also implies disadvantages (digging costs, coping with hypercapnia, physiological and sensory changes, and communication problems) that can affect the social structure. Reproduction is a critical moment in the use of the signal repertoire, because individuals should locate in space, travel to, contact and copulate with a suitable partner. Energy expenditure involved in digging (connecting) tunnels makes difficult to attain a partner burrow system, but predation risk involved in moving above ground can counterbalance it and coupled with the spatial structure of the population, can determine the best communicative strategy to contact and locate a potential partner. Vocalisations allow to communicate over longer distances an with a reduced risk, while chemical signals, mostly aimed at vomerolfaction involve proximity or direct contact with the sample odour thus making information gathering more risky. As Ctenomys can use different signal types to gather different types of information leading to copulation, we propose that the use of these signals would be flexible, depending mostly on population spatial structure and type of predators living in the zone. This is because differences among species and/or populations in the use and characteristics of long-range vocalisations could be induced by environmental and/or social factors. This variation could be considered as a case of phenotypic plasticity, determining communication strategies variability in reproductive context, mostly dependent on long-range communication signals and the behaviour of males.
Keywords: plasticity; energy expenditure; spatial structure; reproduction; copulation; predators; Communicative Strategy; vocalisations; determining communication strategies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
CITE
Francescoli, G. Environmental factors could constrain the use of long-range vocal signals in solitary tuco-tucos (Ctenomys; Rodentia, Ctenomyidae) reproduction. JEA 2017, 1, 6.
Francescoli G. Environmental factors could constrain the use of long-range vocal signals in solitary tuco-tucos (Ctenomys; Rodentia, Ctenomyidae) reproduction. Journal of Ecoacoustics. 2017; 1(1):6.
Francescoli, Gabriel. 2017. "Environmental factors could constrain the use of long-range vocal signals in solitary tuco-tucos (Ctenomys; Rodentia, Ctenomyidae) reproduction." JEA 1, no. 1: 6.
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