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Author Dominoni, D.M.; Partecke, J.
Title Does light pollution alter daylength? A test using light loggers on free-ranging European blackbirds (Turdus merula) Type Journal Article
Year 2015 Publication Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences Abbreviated Journal Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
Volume 370 Issue Pages 20140118
Keywords Animals; urbanization; light pollution; artificial light at night; light loggers; daylength; photoperiod; Turdus merula; European blackbird
Abstract Artificial light at night is one of the most apparent environmental changes accompanying anthropogenic habitat change. The global increase in light pollution poses new challenges to wild species, but we still have limited understanding of the temporal and spatial pattern of exposure to light at night. In particular, it has been suggested by several studies that animals exposed to light pollution, such as songbirds, perceive a longer daylength compared with conspecifics living in natural darker areas, but direct tests of such a hypothesis are still lacking. Here, we use a combination of light loggers deployed on individual European blackbirds, as well as automated radiotelemetry,to examine whether urban birds are exposed to a longer daylength than forest counterparts. We first used activity data from forest birds to determine the level of light intensity which defines the onset and offset of daily activity in rural areas. We then used this value as threshold to calculate the subjective perceived daylength of both forest and urban blackbirds. In March, when reproductive growth occurs, urban birds were exposed on average to a 49-min longer subjective perceived daylength than forest ones, which corresponds to a 19-day difference in photoperiod at this time of the year. In the field, urban blackbirds reached reproductive maturity 19 day earlier than rural birds, suggesting that light pollution could be responsible of most of the variation in reproductive timing found between urban and rural dwellers. We conclude that light at night is the most relevant change in ambient light affecting biological rhythms in avian urban-dwellers, most likely via a modification of the perceived photoperiod.
Address Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK; davide.dominoni@glasgow.ac.uk
Corporate Author Thesis
Publisher Royal Society Place of Publication Editor
Language English Summary Language English Original Title
Series Editor Series Title (up) The biological impacts of artificial light at night: from molecules to communities Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 1117
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