← Back
Effects of Artificial Light at Night on Animal Communication System and Cultural Ecology

Author(s): Saeed Jafari

Affiliations:Space Generation Advisory Council, in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications

Contact:saeed.jafari@spacegeneration.org

Abstract: Artificial light at night (ALAN), has increased dramatically over the past two centuries and is linked to demonstrable shifts in a range of behaviours across diverse animal taxa. There is growing concern that because of the disruption of natural light cycles, ALAN may pose serious risks for wildlife. While ALAN has been shown to affect many aspects of animal behaviour and physiology, few studies have experimentally studied whether individuals of different species in the wild respond differently to ALAN. In this talk, I review the evidence for impacts of artificial nighttime lighting on communication system of animals and cultural ecology. Although the examples are scattered, concerning a wide variety of species and environments, the breadth of such impacts is compelling. Indeed, it seems reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of impacts of artificial nighttime lighting stem from effects on biological timings. I follow with a discussion of the broader ecological and evolutionary consequences of these effects on sleep, calls, animal vision and highlight gaps in our understanding and suggest future directions that may enable us to better understand and address the effects of environmental pollution.

References:

  • [1] Artificial light in the environment. A report by Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Chapter 4, November 2009, page 14.
  • [2] Artificial light in the environment. A report by Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Chapter 4, November 2009, page 14.
  • [3] Stone, E.L., Jones, G. and Harris, S. (2009). Street lighting disturbs commuting bats. Current Biology, 19(13), 1123-1127
  • [4] Firebaugh. A and Haynes. K. (2019) Light pollution may create demographic traps for nocturnal insects. Basic and Applied Ecology. 118-125.
  • View Poster