In detail

What a rich sound reveals about nature


Did you know that the sound of nature is like a small orchestra? And if the sound is really full, this is a sign of a healthy environment. Even if the forest and meadow appear healthy on the outside, a changed "biophony" tells how nature really is.

The orchestra of nature plays its very own "biophony": whether insects, amphibians, birds, mammals or even plants - each semi-natural space has its own sound, reveals musician and specialist in acoustic nature recordings Bernie Krause according to a report by "Spiegel" , In his opinion, however, the sound is very much determined by man's influence - the larger it is, the quieter and less multifaceted the orchestra of nature plays. So Krause tried to draw attention to the fact that even an apparently sustainable use of the environment leaves its acoustic traces.

To prove his theory, he visited a healthy meadow in front of a California mountain forest in 1998 and recorded the varied sound of the animal world. Then an environmentally friendly, ie "careful and selective deforestation" was carried out, the "mirror" continues. The following years kept coming back, and the idyllic place still made a healthy impression. However, the once magnificent natural orchestra played much quieter. Many voices were withdrawn or were missing completely. Krause was able to observe similar observations for other natural areas in which humans had a significant impact on the environment - even if this is not always visible. Continuous aircraft noise, for example, makes toads quack quieter in Mexico, and marine pollution silences the sound of entire coral reefs.

So if you are going to take a walk through nature in the near future, you should not only watch it closely, but also listen to it carefully - because who knows how long you can enjoy such a "biophony"? To get a rough impression of Krause's work: listen to the fascinating rhythm of a tree.

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