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There are a number of software packages available for describing soundscape and differing views on which approach is 'best' (see this thread), and there have been attempts at developing standards for soundscape analysis (ADEON, Euronoise).

Have there been any attempts to create a standard dataset for testing/comparison of metrics using different software approaches to ensure that metrics are comparable? Have there been any comparisons of different metrics?

My interest is specifically in marine soundscape, but I suspect the question also applies towards terrestrial soundscape.

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  • $\begingroup$ Important Question. I guess, this depends also on objectives to present soundscapes. Hope you get some good answers. Looking forward to them $\endgroup$
    – WMXZ
    Jul 31, 2022 at 16:01

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While there is no standard that has been widely adopted across soundscapes, this paper from Zhao et al used simulated soundscapes to evaluate the performance of various soundscape metrics as measurements of a clearly-known (because it was artificial) biodiversity. To the best of my knowledge, the dataset is not widely adopted, but the protocol may represent one that could be a basis for a more widely-adopted standard or best practice moving forward.

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    $\begingroup$ The cited paper assumes that soundscapes are "used as proxies for bird species richness". Bur what about soundscape to describe habitat usage, anthropogenic interaction, etc. $\endgroup$
    – WMXZ
    Aug 1, 2022 at 6:32
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It's a very specific example related to the question that you ask, but this note on the differences in ACI from the seewave and soundecology packages might be of interest to you:

Differences of ACI values between seewave and soundecology
https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/soundecology/vignettes/ACIandSeewave.html

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There is a standard for how underwater noise is processed to be imported into the EU-wide database supported by ICES. These standards are set by working groups comprised by experts. The idea is that anyone can download these data, available in third-octave levels, from multiple institutions and they will be processed the same. This is still a work-in-progress, though, and some countries are ahead of others.

However, setting these standards is part of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

As for software, I've really only seen PAMGuide and PAMGuard offer these tools, and I'm not aware of anything that directly compares them.

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From what I have found from the ecoacoustics/soundscape literature, the metrics that work "best" for predicting species richness, habitat quality, disturbance, etc. all are pretty site-specific and not necessarily generalizable across ecosystems.

However I have noticed some exceptions that get at standardized metrics; Sarab Sethi's work in this space may yield some insights - e.g.,

"Characterizing soundscapes across diverse ecosystems using a universal acoustic feature set" - https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2004702117.

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You may find MANTA useful for marine soundscape analysis. See Ocean Sound Analysis Software for Making Ambient Noise Trends Accessible (MANTA).

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