Streetlights Are Changing Our Ecology

Streetlights Are Changing Our Ecology

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Street lighting is changing bug communities and that is affecting everything from the songs birds sing to the makeup of people. A new study found that scavenger and predator insects both collect near the lights. It also shows for the first time that their composition is affected by the lighting. The study is published in the latest Biology Letters.

In fact, streetlights and other forms of artificial lighting may affect all ecosystem members, from bugs to humans. “The range of effects of light pollution are really very diverse,” lead author Thomas Davies told Discovery News. “They can affect reproductive successes in sea turtles, the timings of bird songs and even the physiology of humans.” He and his colleagues believe that “we are facing an insect biodiversity crisis,” which merits our attention because “insects provide crucial services to humans, such as pollination and decomposition to organic matter.”

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