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Vocal Performance in Songbirds: From Mechanisms to Evolution

  • Jeffrey PodosEmail author
  • Ha-Cheol Sung
Chapter
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Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 71)

Abstract

Song production across many songbird species is shaped by largely conserved sets of constraints associated with song control, production, and perception. This chapter addresses two main hypotheses: (1) that mechanisms of birdsong production and performance set constraints on vocal structure in ways that run parallel across taxa and that help to explain the evolution of vocal phenotypes; and (2) that resulting variations in birdsong structure influence communicative functions for both intrasexual and intersexual interactions in ways that favor the evolution of vocal phenotypes that challenge vocal performance capacities. Substantial evidence for both hypotheses has accumulated, showing that performance constraints can influence the structure of diverse vocal features and that birds indeed attend and respond differentially to performance-based vocal variations. Topics highlighted for future work include: (1) exploration of neural and endocrine mechanisms that underlie vocal performance, (2) elucidation of cognitive and sampling processes that underlie song performance assessment, and (3) evaluation of the overall impact of song performance on the evolution of songbird vocal phenotypes.

Keywords

Bioacoustics Birdsong Female preferences Sexual selection Song perception Vocal communication Vocal evolution 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Sarah Woolley, Jon Sakata, and Arthur Popper for their helpful editorial suggestions.

Compliance with Ethics Requirements

Jeffrey Podos declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ha-Cheol Sung declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesChonnam National UniversityGwangjuSouth Korea

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