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Author Gaston, K.J.; Holt, L.A.
Title Nature, extent and ecological implications of night‐time light from road vehicles Type Journal Article
Year 2018 Publication Journal of Applied Ecology Abbreviated Journal (up)
Volume 55 Issue 5 Pages 2296-2307
Keywords Animals; Ecology; Lighting; Review
Abstract The erosion of night‐time by the introduction of artificial lighting constitutes a profound pressure on the natural environment. It has altered what had for millennia been reliable signals from natural light cycles used for regulating a host of biological processes, with impacts ranging from changes in gene expression to ecosystem processes.

Studies of these impacts have focused almost exclusively on those resulting from stationary sources of light emissions, and particularly streetlights. However, mobile sources, especially road vehicle headlights, contribute substantial additional emissions.

The ecological impacts of light emissions from vehicle headlights are likely to be especially high because these are (1) focused so as to light roadsides at higher intensities than commonly experienced from other sources, and well above activation thresholds for many biological processes; (2) projected largely in a horizontal plane and thus can carry over long distances; (3) introduced into much larger areas of the landscape than experience street lighting; (4) typically broad “white” spectrum, which substantially overlaps the action spectra of many biological processes and (5) often experienced at roadsides as series of pulses of light (produced by passage of vehicles), a dynamic known to have major biological impacts.

The ecological impacts of road vehicle headlights will markedly increase with projected global growth in numbers of vehicles and the road network, increasing the local severity of emissions (because vehicle numbers are increasing faster than growth in the road network) and introducing emissions into areas from which they were previously absent. The effects will be further exacerbated by technological developments that are increasing the intensity of headlight emissions and the amounts of blue light in emission spectra.

Synthesis and applications. Emissions from vehicle headlights need to be considered as a major, and growing, source of ecological impacts of artificial night‐time lighting. It will be a significant challenge to minimise these impacts whilst balancing drivers' needs at night and avoiding risk and discomfort for other road users. Nonetheless, there is potential to identify solutions to these conflicts, both through the design of headlights and that of roads.
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Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 1841
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Author Girard, M.B.; Kasumovic, M.M.; Elias, D.O.
Title The role of red coloration and song in peacock spider courtship: insights into complex signaling systems Type Journal Article
Year 2018 Publication Behavioral Ecology Abbreviated Journal (up)
Volume in press Issue Pages
Keywords Animals
Abstract Research on animal signaling enhances our understanding of links between sensory processing, decision making, behavior, and evolution. Studies of sexually-selected signals may be particularly informative as mate choice provides access to decision patterns in the way that courtship leads to an easily observable behavioral output in choosers, i.e., mating. Male peacock spiders have some of the most elaborate and varied courtship displays known among animals. Particularly striking to human observers is the diversity of red, orange, and yellow ornaments that males exhibit across the genus. The primary objective of our research was to investigate how these visual ornaments interact with vibratory songs to affect female mating behavior of one species, Maratus volans. Accordingly, we conducted mating trials under a series of experimentally manipulated vibratory and lighting conditions. Contrary to expectation, chromatic characteristics of longer wavelength ornaments are not driving female mate choice decisions, despite their extensive presence on male fans. Instead, our results suggest that contrast is important to females. Additionally, we found that vibratory signals were not necessary and did not increase mating rates. Our study demonstrates the intricacies inherent in complex signaling systems.
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ISSN 1045-2249 ISBN Medium
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Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 2027
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Author Dutta, H.
Title Insights into the impacts of three current environmental problems on Amphibians Type Journal Article
Year 2018 Publication European Journal of Ecology Abbreviated Journal (up)
Volume 4 Issue 2 Pages 15-27
Keywords Animals; Review
Abstract Global warming, light pollution and noise are common human-induced environmental problems that are escalating at a high rate. Their consequences on wildlife have mostly been overlooked, with the exception of a few species with respect to climate change. The problems often occur simultaneously and exert their negative effects together at the same time. In other words, their impacts are combined. Studies have never focused on more than one problem, and so, such combined effects have never been understood properly. The review addresses this lacuna in the case of amphibians, which are a highly vulnerable group. It divides the overall impacts of the problems into seven categories (behaviour, health, movement, distribution, phenology, development and reproductive success) and then assesses their combined impact through statistical analyses. It revealed that amphibian calling is the most vulnerable aspect to the combined impacts. This could provide important input for conservation of amphibians.
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ISSN 1339-8474 ISBN Medium
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Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 2166
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Author Straka,T. M., Wolf, M., Gras, P., Buchholz, S., & Voigt, C. C.
Title Tree Cover Mediates the Effect of Artificial Light on Urban Bats Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Abbreviated Journal (up)
Volume 7 Issue Pages 91
Keywords Animals; ALAN; bats; canopy cover; chiroptera; light-emitting diodes; LED; trees; Ultraviolet; urban
Abstract With urban areas growing worldwide, so does artificial light at night (ALAN) which negatively affects many nocturnal animals, including bats. The response of bats to ALAN ranges from some opportunistic species taking advantage of insect aggregations around street lamps, particularly those emitting ultraviolet (UV) light, to others avoiding lit areas at all. Tree cover has been suggested to mitigate the negative effects of ALAN on bats by shielding areas against light scatter. Here, we investigated the effect of tree cover on the relationship between ALAN and bats in Berlin, Germany. In particular, we asked if this interaction varies with the UV light spectrum of street lamps and also across urban bat species. We expected trees next to street lamps to block ALAN, making the adjacent habitat more suitable for all species, irrespective of the wavelength spectrum of the light source. Additionally, we expected UV emitting lights next to trees to attract insects and thus, opportunistic bats. In summer 2017, we recorded bat activity at 22 green open spaces in Berlin using automated ultrasonic detectors. We analyzed bat activity patterns and landscape variables (number of street lamps with and without UV light emission, an estimate of light pollution, and tree cover density around each recording site within different spatial scales) using generalized linear mixed-effects models with a negative binomial distribution. We found a species-specific response of bats to street lamps with and without UV light, providing a more detailed picture of ALAN impacts than simply total light radiance. Moreover, we found that dense tree cover dampened the negative effect of street lamps without UV for open-space foraging bats of the genera Nyctalus, Eptesicus, and Vespertilio, yet it amplified the already existing negative or positive effect of street lamps with or without UV on Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. pygmaeus, and Myotis spp. Our study underpins the importance of minimizing artificial light at night close to vegetation, particularly for bats adapted to spatial complexity in the environment (i.e., clutter-adapted species), and to increase dense vegetation in urban landscape to provide, besides roosting opportunities, protection against ALAN for open-space foraging bats in city landscapes.
Address Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
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Call Number IDA @ intern @ Serial 2302
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Author Frank, T. M., Gabbert, W. C., Chaves-Campos, J., & LaVal, R. K.
Title Impact of artificial lights on foraging of insectivorous bats in a Costa Rican cloud forest Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Journal of Tropical Ecology Abbreviated Journal (up)
Volume 35 Issue 1 Pages 8-17
Keywords Animals
Abstract Determining the effects of light pollution on tropical bat communities is important for understanding community assembly rules in urban areas. Studies from temperate regions suggest that, among aerial insectivorous bats, fast-flying species that forage in the open are attracted to artificial lights, whereas slow-flying species that forage in cluttered environments avoid those lights. We measured aerial insectivore responses to light pollution in a tropical cloud forest to test this hypothesis. Bat echolocation was recorded at 20 pairs of light and dark sites in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Foraging activity was higher at artificially lighted sites than dark sites near the new moon, especially around blue-white fluorescent lighting. Most recorded bat species showed increased or unchanged activity in response to light, including some slow-flying and edge-foraging bats. This finding suggests that, contrary to the evaluated hypothesis, flight speed and foraging mode are not sufficient to determine bat responses to artificial lights in the tropics. Two bat species showed decreased activity at light sites, and a low species evenness was recorded around lights, particularly fluorescent lights, compared with dark sites. As in the temperate zone, light pollution in the tropics seems to concentrate certain bat species around human-inhabited areas, potentially shifting community structure.
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Call Number IDA @ intern @ Serial 2311
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