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Lewanzik, D., Voigt, C. C., & Pocock, M. (2014). Artificial light puts ecosystem services of frugivorous bats at risk. J Appl Ecol, 51(2), 388–394.
Abstract: Natural succession of deforested areas and connectivity of remaining forest patches may suffer due to artificial light at night through a reduction in nocturnal seed disperser activity in lit areas. This could have negative impacts on biodiversity and consequent effects on land erosion, particularly in developing countries of the tropics where light pollution increases rapidly with growing economies and human populations. Mitigation requires that the use of artificial light should be limited in space, time and intensity to the minimum necessary. The effectiveness of âdarkness corridorsâ to enhance fragment connectivity and to reduce species loss should be evaluated. Policy-makers of tropical countries should become aware of the potential detrimental effects of artificial lighting on wildlife and ecosystem functioning.
Perkin, E. K., Hölker, F., & Tockner, K. (2014). The effects of artificial lighting on adult aquatic and terrestrial insects. Freshw Biol, 59(2), 368–377.
Abstract: There is a growing concern that artificial light might affect local insect populations and disrupt their dispersal across the landscape. In this study, we investigated experimentally the effect of artificial light on flying insects in the field, with an emphasis on aquatic insects. We asked whether lights prevented the ability of insects to disperse across the landscape, a process that is crucial in colonising restored habitats.
We set up six, c. 3.5 m high downward facing high-pressure sodium streetlights along a permanently connected oxbow in the Spree River of eastern Germany. We collected insects using 12 flight intercept traps, each with trays at three different heights (0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 m), placed at distances 0, 3, 40 and 75 m from the lights and 5, 8 and 80 m from water. The number of emerging aquatic insects in the study area was measured with six emergence traps. We emptied the traps 22 times between June and September 2010; the lights were on for 11 of these nights and off for the other 11.
In total, we caught almost 27 times as many insects at traps 0 m from the lights when the lights were on than when they were off. Most insects caught when the lights were on were aquatic, with Diptera being the most common order. Furthermore, the proportion of aquatic insects caught at traps 0, 3 and 40 m from the lights when they were on was significantly higher than when they were off. On lit nights, more aquatic insects were captured per hour and m2 (area in which flying insects were intercepted) at traps 0 m from the lights than emerged from per square metre per hour from the Spree River.
Our results suggest that adult aquatic insects can be negatively affected by artificial light and that city planners should take this into account when designing lighting systems along rivers.