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Pawson, S. M., & Bader, M. K. - F. (2014). LED lighting increases the ecological impact of light pollution irrespective of color temperature. Ecological Applications, 24(7), 1561–1568.
Abstract: Recognition of the extent and magnitude of night-time light pollution impacts on natural ecosystems is increasing, with pervasive effects observed in both nocturnal and diurnal species. Municipal and industrial lighting is on the cusp of a step change where energy-efficient lighting technology is driving a shift from âyellowâ high-pressure sodium vapor lamps (HPS) to new âwhiteâ light-emitting diodes (LEDs). We hypothesized that white LEDs would be more attractive and thus have greater ecological impacts than HPS due to the peak UV-green-blue visual sensitivity of nocturnal invertebrates. Our results support this hypothesis; on average LED light traps captured 48% more insects than were captured with light traps fitted with HPS lamps, and this effect was dependent on air temperature (significant light Ã air temperature interaction). We found no evidence that manipulating the color temperature of white LEDs would minimize the ecological impacts of the adoption of white LED lights. As such, large-scale adoption of energy-efficient white LED lighting for municipal and industrial use may exacerbate ecological impacts and potentially amplify phytosanitary pest infestations. Our findings highlight the urgent need for collaborative research between ecologists and electrical engineers to ensure that future developments in LED technology minimize their potential ecological effects.
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.