The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "A framework for untangling the consequences of artificial light at night on species interactions"

Posted on 2023-09-15 - 15:15
Although much evidence exists showing organismal consequences from artificial light at night (ALAN), large knowledge gaps remain regarding ALAN affecting species interactions. Species interactions occur via shared spatio-temporal niches among species that may be determined by natural light levels. We review how ALAN is altering these spatio-temporal niches through expanding twilight or full moon conditions and constricting nocturnal conditions as well as creating patches of bright and dark. We review literature from a database to determine if ALAN is affecting species interactions via spatio-temporal dynamics. The literature indicates a growing interest in ALAN and species interactions: 58% of the studies we analysed have been published since 2020. Seventy-five of 79 studies found ALAN altered species interactions. Enhancements and reductions of species interactions were equally documented. Many studies revealed ALAN affecting species interactions spatially, but few revealed temporal alterations. There are biases regarding species interactions and ALAN—most studies investigated predator–prey interactions with vertebrates as predators and invertebrates as prey. Following this literature review, we suggest avenues, such as remote sensing and animal tracking, which can guide future research on the consequences of ALAN on species interactions across spatial and temporal axes.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Light pollution in complex ecological systems’.


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