Evidence Resources

Syntheses In Progress

Evidence of the environmental impact of noise pollution on biodiversity: a systematic map protocol



For decades, biodiversity has suffered massive losses worldwide. Urbanization is one of the major drivers of extinction because it leads to the physical fragmentation and loss of natural habitats and it is associated with related effects, e.g. pollution and in particular noise pollution given that many man-made sounds are generated in cities (e.g. industrial and traffic noise, etc.). However, all human activities generate sounds, even far from any human habitation (e.g. motor boats on lakes, aircraft in the air, etc.). Ecological research now deals increasingly with the effects of noise pollution on biodiversity. Many studies have shown the impacts of anthropogenic noise and concluded that it is potentially a threat to life on Earth. The present work describes a protocol to systematically map evidence of the environmental impact of noise pollution on biodiversity. The resulting map will inform on the species most studied and on the demonstrated impacts. This will be useful for further primary research by identifying knowledge gaps and in view of further analysis, such as systematic reviews.


Searches will include peer-reviewed and grey literature published in English and French. Two online databases will be searched using English terms and search consistency will be assessed with a test list. No geographical restrictions will be applied. The subject population will include all species. Exposures will include all types of man-made sounds (industrial, traffic, etc.) in all types of environments (or media) (terrestrial, aerial, aquatic), including all contexts and sound origins (spontaneous or recorded sounds, in situ or laboratory studies, etc.). All relevant outcomes will be considered (space use, reproduction, communication, abundance, etc.). An open-access database will be produced with all relevant studies selected during the three screening stages. For each study, the database will contain metadata on key variables of interest (species, types of sound, outcomes, etc.). This database will be available in conjunction with a map report describing the mapping process and the evidence base with summary figures and tables of the study characteristics.


Noise Pollution, Man-made sounds, Anthropogenic sounds, Masking auditory, Urban noise, Traffic noise, Impact of urbanization, Species loss, Natural habitats, Ecosystems

Who's in the review team?

Romain Sordello
Frédérique Flamerie De Lachapelle
Barbara Livoreil
Sylvie Vanpeene

At what stage is the review?

Review in Progress

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