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Bruning, A., Hölker, F., Franke, S., Kleiner, W., & Kloas, W. (2015). Impact of different colours of artificial light at night on melatonin rhythm and gene expression of gonadotropins in European perch. Sci Total Environ, 543(Pt A), 214–222.
Abstract: The distribution and intensity of artificial light at night, commonly referred to as light pollution, is consequently rising and progressively also ecological implications come to light. Low intensity light is known to suppress nocturnal melatonin production in several fish species. This study aims to examine the least suppressive light colour for melatonin excreted into the holding water and the influence of different light qualities and quantities in the night on gene expression of gonadotropins in fish. European perch (Perca fluviatilis) were exposed to light of different wavelengths during the night (blue, green, and red). Melatonin concentrations were measured from water samples every 3h during a 24h period. Gene expression of gonadotropins was measured in perch exposed to different light colours and was additionally examined for perch subjected to different intensities of white light (0lx, 1lx, 10lx, 100lx) during the night. All different light colours caused a significant drop of melatonin concentration; however, blue light was least suppressive. Gene expression of gonadotropins was not influenced by nocturnal light of different light colours, but in female perch gonadotropin expression was significantly reduced by white light already at the lowest level (1lx). We conclude that artificial light with shorter wavelengths at night is less effective in disturbing biological rhythms of perch than longer wavelengths, coinciding with the light situation in freshwater habitats inhabited by perch. Different light colours in the night showed no significant effect on gonadotropin expression, but white light in the night can disturb reproductive traits already at very low light intensities. These findings indicate that light pollution has not only the potential to disturb the melatonin cycle but also the reproductive rhythm and may therefore have implications on whole species communities.