Effect of Artificial Lighting on Insects
According to a study published in Nature, an artificial light at night disrupts nocturnal pollination networks and has negative consequences for plant reproductive success. In artificially illuminated plant-pollinator communities, nocturnal visits to plants were reduced by 62% compared to dark areas. Notably, this resulted in an overall 13% reduction in fruit set of a focal plant even though the plant also received numerous visits by diurnal pollinators. Furthermore, by merging diurnal and nocturnal pollination sub-networks, we show that the structure of these combined networks tends to facilitate the spread of the negative consequences of disrupted nocturnal pollination to daytime pollinator communities. Our findings demonstrate that artificial light at night is a threat to pollination and that the negative effects of artificial light at night on nocturnal pollination are predicted to propagate to the diurnal community, thereby aggravating the decline of the diurnal community. (Fig.1, 2)

Fig.1. Pollinator visits of artificial lights at night are 62% more lowered than those of nature darkness
In fact, over the past two decades, artificial light production has increased by 70%, especially in inhabited areas. Nighttime artificial light is growing at an annual rate of 6% worldwide. "In the areas with high levels of light pollution, light-sensitive insects have already disappeared," Dr. Knob said.

Fig.2. Artificial lights at night lowered pollinator visit at flowers, causing fruit production or the average number of fruits per plants to decrease dramatically.
Additionally, as per the Urban Wildlands Group and UCLA Institute of the Environment, artificial lighting has been blamed for decreases in populations of moths. By disrupting moth navigation and suppressing flight, it interferes with mating, dispersal, and migration. It also disturbs feeding, oviposition, nocturnal vision and, possibly, circadian rhythms. It increases predation by birds, bats, spiders, and other predators. Herein, artificial lighting is increasing every year caused by ecosystem disruption, but currently, there is no way to sort out.

Ref.: Nature 548(7666), 2017, Impact of artificial lighting on moths(Kenneth D. Frank)
Jae Ho Lee, Ph.D 

* Next week’s topic : Light and Plants(Circadian Clock in Plants - Part2)

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