Animals often communicate under challenging natural conditions. For example, species of insects, frogs, and birds aggregate in large groups where levels of background noise can be high. This project will investigate aspects of the vocal behavior of treefrogs with the goal of learning how flexibility in the pattern of male calling improves their ability to communicate and achieve reproductive success. Findings should shed light on how the ear and brain may improve the ability of individuals to exchange information under very noisy conditions. Specifically, the project will test three ideas as to why male gray treefrogs change the duration of their calls with changes in their sound environment. The first hypothesis proposes that males do this so that enough essential call elements remain clear of acoustic interference to attract a mate. The second hypothesis proposes that males modify their calling to compensate for changes in the probability that their signals will not be detected in background noise. The third hypothesis proposes that males adjust their calling behavior in response to the perceived threat of competition for females. The research will develop new approaches to the study of communication in groups. The university where this work will be undertaken is focused on undergraduate teaching (RUI school) and the proposed research will provide a diversity of undergraduate students with valuable research experience.