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Studying the Ecological Impacts of Light Pollution on Wildlife: Amphibians as Models

Document ID: 
wise-2007
Year Published: 
2013
Summary: 

With the expansion of human habitation near and within natural habitats, fragile ecosystems are increasingly exposed to artificial night lighting. Amphibians (particularly frogs and salamanders) are important components of many forest and aquatic ecosystems. Amphibians are particularly sensitive to environmental changes and, thus, are important indicators of the health of ecosystems. Amphibian populations have been declining world-wide as a result of environmental perturbations including increases in UV -B radiation (due to ozone depletion), global warming and climatic change, habitat loss and destruction, and acidification caused by acid rain. Light pollution may also contribute to global decline of amphibians, because many amphibians are nocturnally active or have biological rhythms regulated by light. This paper will summarize methods of conducting research designed to determine the impact of light pollution on amphibians, including laboratory experiments, field experiments, and natural (observational) studies.

Reference Information: 

Wise, S. 2007. Studying the ecological impacts of light pollution on wildlife: Amphibians as models. In StarLight: A Common Heritage; Proceedings of the StarLight 2007 Conference; International Initiative in Defence of the Quality of the Night Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars, edited by C. Marín and J. Jafari, pp. 209–218. La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain: StarLight Initiative; Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. Available at: http://www.starlight2007.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&i.... Accessed January 28, 2013.

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