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Author (up) Sanders, D.; Kehoe, R.; Cruse, D.; van Veen, F.J.F.; Gaston, K.J. url  doi
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  Title Low Levels of Artificial Light at Night Strengthen Top-Down Control in Insect Food Web Type Journal Article
  Year 2018 Publication Current Biology : CB Abbreviated Journal Curr Biol  
  Volume 28 Issue 15 Pages 2474-2478.e3  
  Keywords Ecology; Animals  
  Abstract Artificial light has transformed the nighttime environment of large areas of the earth, with 88% of Europe and almost 50% of the United States experiencing light-polluted night skies [1]. The consequences for ecosystems range from exposure to high light intensities in the vicinity of direct light sources to the very widespread but lower lighting levels further away [2]. While it is known that species exhibit a range of physiological and behavioral responses to artificial nighttime lighting [e.g., 3-5], there is a need to gain a mechanistic understanding of whole ecological community impacts [6, 7], especially to different light intensities. Using a mesocosm field experiment with insect communities, we determined the impact of intensities of artificial light ranging from 0.1 to 100 lux on different trophic levels and interactions between species. Strikingly, we found the strongest impact at low levels of artificial lighting (0.1 to 5 lux), which led to a 1.8 times overall reduction in aphid densities. Mechanistically, artificial light at night increased the efficiency of parasitoid wasps in attacking aphids, with twice the parasitism rate under low light levels compared to unlit controls. However, at higher light levels, parasitoid wasps spent longer away from the aphid host plants, diminishing this increased efficiency. Therefore, aphids reached higher densities under increased light intensity as compared to low levels of lighting, where they were limited by higher parasitoid efficiency. Our study highlights the importance of different intensities of artificial light in driving the strength of species interactions and ecosystem functions.  
  Address Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language English Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0960-9822 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes PMID:30057304 Approved no  
  Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 2518  
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