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Towards a silent spring? Modeling and projecting the impacts of the anthropocene on soundscapes with birds as an acoustic ecological indicator

ACOUCENE © Aurélien Audevard

Regional-level strategies for biodiversity conservation necessitate networks of connected habitats in which species can circulate free of any anthropogenic barrier all along their lifecycle. The idea of a similar network for soundscapes, the acoustic component of landscapes, has emerged to protect animal species interacting through sounds. This network, coined the “white thread”, would contribute to warrant the integrity of soundscapes, as required by a French parliament law voted on January 29, 2021.


A reference state for continental France’s white thread is necessary but faces the lack of direct recordings of soundscapes. ACOUCENE will tackle this aim through model-based soundscapes reconstruction, focusing on a flagship indicator of biodiversity declines, bird sounds. ACOUCENE will proceed in four stages :


  • the construction of soundscapes from bird sounds recordings gathered from citizen-science databases, paired with bird community composition data from atlas and breeding bird surveys ;
  • a network-based model of the white thread and of its predicted variations due to bird community changes in the 30 last years;
  • predictions on its future in the face of climate and land use changes: ACOUCENE aims to predict the influence of bird community changes on the soundscapes of continental France;
  • the identification of high-patrimonial value areas based on the characteristics of the white thread.



Jean-Yves BARNAGAUD – EPHE (France); Solène CROCI – CNRS (France)


Michela BUSANA

ouvrir/fermer Participants: 

Luc BARBARO – INRAe (France); Jonathan CARRUTHERS-JONES – University of Leeds (United Kingdom); Alice ELDRIDGE – University of Sussex (United Kingdom); Alison FAIRBRASS – University College of London (United Kingdom); Almo FARINA – University of Urbino (Italy); Amandine GASC – IRD (France); Charlène GEMARD – CNRS (France); Sandra MÜLLER – University of Freiburg (Germany); Gwenaël QUAINTENNE – LPO (France); Louis SALLE – LPO (France).


ACOUCENE brings together experts in bioacoustics, eco-acoustics, community ecology, biogeography and ornithology, as well as two ecologists from a major environmental protection association.



ACOUCENE was selected from the 2021 call for proposals with OFB and MTE “Impacts on terrestrial biodiversity in the Anthropocene”. The project selection process was carried out by a committee of independent experts

In partnership with