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Author (up) ffrench-Constant, R.; Somers-Yeates, R.; Bennie, J.; Economou, T.; Hodgson, D.; Spalding, A.; McGregor, P.
Title Light pollution is associated with earlier tree budburst across the United Kingdom Type Journal Article
Year 2016 Publication Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Abbreviated Journal Proc Roy Soc B Biol Sci
Volume 283 Issue 1833 Pages 1-9
Keywords Plants; light pollution, phenology, species interactions, tree budburst, temperature, urban heat islands; United Kingdom
Abstract The ecological impact of night-time lighting is of concern because of its well-demonstrated effects on animal behaviour. However, the potential of light pollution to change plant phenology and its corresponding knock-on effects on associated herbivores are less clear. Here, we test if artificial lighting can advance the timing of budburst in trees. We took a UK-wide 13 year dataset of spatially referenced budburst data from four deciduous tree species and matched it with both satellite imagery of night-time lighting and average spring temperature. We find that budburst occurs up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas, with the relationship being more pronounced for later-budding species. Excluding large urban areas from the analysis showed an even more pronounced advance of budburst, confirming that the urban ‘heat-island’ effect is not the sole cause of earlier urban budburst. Similarly, the advance in budburst across all sites is too large to be explained by increases in temperature alone. This dramatic advance of budburst illustrates the need for further experimental investigation into the impact of artificial night-time lighting on plant phenology and subsequent species interactions. As light pollution is a growing global phenomenon, the findings of this study are likely to be applicable to a wide range of species interactions across the world.
Address Centre for Ecology and Conservation, and 2 Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn TR10 9EZ, UK; rf222(at)exeter.ac.uk
Corporate Author Thesis
Publisher Royal Society Place of Publication Editor
Language English Summary Language English Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
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Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 1472
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