Rosenberg, Y., Doniger, T., & Levy, O. (2019). Sustainability of coral reefs are affected by ecological light pollution in the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat. Commun Biol, 2, 289.
Abstract: As human populations grow and lighting technologies improve, artificial light gradually alters natural cycles of light and dark that have been consistent over long periods of geological and evolutionary time. While considerable ecological implications of artificial light have been identified in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, knowledge about the physiological and molecular effects of light pollution is vague. To determine if ecological light pollution (ELP) impacts coral biological processes, we characterized the transcriptome of the coral Acropora eurystoma under two different light regimes: control conditions and treatment with light at night. Here we show that corals exposed to ELP have approximately 25 times more differentially expressed genes that regulate cell cycle, cell proliferation, cell growth, protein synthesis and display changes in photo physiology. The finding of this work confirms that ELP acts as a chronic disturbance that may impact the future of coral reefs.