Songs of Adaptation currently has observations nodes on three continents. Each site represents a unique opportunity to observe our changing world. This work will inform evidence-based decision making in some of the highest biodiversity areas of the world, ecosystems also experiencing extreme stressors due to climate change and anthropogenic change.
Changing temperatures can have vastly different effects on different environments. The Songs of Adaptation research network currently has active monitoring installations in West Virginia, Maryland, Nepal, and Bolivia as well as plans for many more international sites.
Barun Valley, Nepal
In order to capture climatic variability over time, this Biomeridian is located on a transect of a mountain slope, from the bottom of the mountain where the ecology is tropical, up to the top of the mountain where the climate currently resembles the arctic. One slope can encapsulate the biodiversity from the equator to the poles.
Data is being constantly collected at 5 nodes along this transect. For now, it is being manually analyzed in small batches. In the future, this amassed data will be clustered and analyzed in large batches; at this point trends will be statistically significant.
The first in depth report resulting from data at this research site was given to the Nepali government in June, 2018. It is available here. We hope to take such technical information and give it to local communities in respectful and engaging ways.
Here is an example of some of the audio data recorded by our bioacoustics microphone. This is a recording of the Slender Billed Scimitar Babbler – Xiphirhynchus superciliaris – that frequents the Deaurali site along the Barun Biomeridian.
Audio analysis can be quite complex, especially when working with months worth of recording at a time. The spectrogram below is a visual representation of the Slender Billed Scimitar Babbler above. Looking at a visual representation of the sound in a few short seconds of the months worth of data that has been generated in the Barun is truly exciting.
Spruce Knob, West Virginia, USA
This noteworthy landmark is the highest point in West Virginia. Currently, instrumentation is installed in a meadow and in a dense spruce forest. The latter location is a pilot test for sustainable solar power. If the solar equipment in use there can successfully power the instrumentation in the dim forests, then it can be used in a wide array of localities and conditions.
Chesapeake Bay, USA
The first node of a proposed transect of the Chesapeake Bay is installed at the far northern extremities, at partner site of NorthBay in North East, Maryland. This node is unique in that it does not rely on professional scientists in order to carry on ground truthing and in-person observations. Rather, it will rely on crowd-sourcing the work on a citizen science project with iNaturalist. This node will be the first in-field pilot of using the Biomeridian as an educational program. Each location respectfully engages close by communities; in this case, the community engagement piece is middle school students.
Coming soon – installing currently underway.