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Author Shuboni, D; Yan, L url  doi
openurl 
  Title Nighttime dim light exposure alters the responses of the circadian system Type Journal Article
  Year 2010 Publication Neuroscience Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 170 Issue 4 Pages 1172-1178  
  Keywords animals; rodents; animal behaviour: human physiology  
  Abstract The daily light dark cycle is the most salient entraining factor for the circadian system. However, in modern society, darkness at night is vanishing as light pollution steadily increases. The impact of brighter nights on wild life ecology and human physiology is just now being recognized. In the present study, we tested the possible detrimental effects of dim light exposure on the regulation of circadian rhythms, using CD1 mice housed in light/dim light (LdimL, 300 lux:20 lux) or light/dark (LD, 300 lux:1 lux) conditions. We first examined the expression of clock genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the locus of the principal brain clock, in the animals of the LD and LdimL groups. Under the entrained condition, there was no difference in PER1 peak expression between the two groups, but at the trough of the PER 1 rhythm, there was an increase in PER1 in the LdimL group, indicating a decrease in the amplitude of the PER1 rhythm. After a brief light exposure (30 min, 300 lux) at night, the light-induced expression of mPer1 and mPer2 genes was attenuated in the SCN of LdimL group. Next, we examined the behavioral rhythms by monitoring wheel-running activity to determine whether the altered responses in the SCN of LdimL group have behavioral consequence. Compared to the LD controls, the LdimL group showed increased daytime activity. After being released into constant darkness, the LdimL group displayed shorter free-running periods. Furthermore, following the light exposure, the phase shifting responses were smaller in the LdimL group. The results indicate that nighttime dim light exposure can cause functional changes of the circadian system, and suggest that altered circadian function could be one of the mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of light pollution on wild life ecology and human physiology.  
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  Call Number LoNNe @ schroer @ Serial 1601  
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Author Vasquez, R A url  doi
openurl 
  Title Assessment of predation risk via illumination level: facultative central place foraging in the cricetid rodent Phyllotis darwini Type Journal Article
  Year 1994 Publication Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 34 Issue 5 Pages 375-381  
  Keywords animals; rodents; foraging behaviour  
  Abstract It is well known that the risk of predation affects prey decision making. However, few studies have been concerned with the cues used by prey to assess this risk. Prey animals may use indirect environmental cues to assess predation hazard since direct evaluation may be dangerous. I studied the assessment of predation risk, manipulated via environmental illumination level, and the trade-off between foraging and predation hazard avoidance in the nocturnal rodent Phyllotis darwini (Rodentia: Cricetidae). In experimental arenas I simulated dark and full moon nights (which in nature correlate with low and high predation risk, respectively) and measured the immediate responses of animals to flyovers of a raptor model. Second, varying illumination only, I evaluated patch use, food consumption, central place foraging, and nocturnal variation of body weight. During flyover experiments, animals showed significantly more evasive reactions under full moon illumination than in moonless conditions. In the patch use experiments, rodents significantly increased their giving-up density and decreased their total food consumption under moonlight. On dark nights, rodents normally fed in the food patch, but when illumination was high they became central place foragers in large proportion. Moreover, the body weight of individuals decreased proportionately more during bright nights. These results strongly suggest that P. darwini uses the level of environmental illumination as a cue to the risk of being preyed upon and may sacrifice part of its energy return to avoid risky situations.  
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  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number LoNNe @ schroer @ Serial 1604  
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