Biological, organismal and ecological impacts

Because natural cycles of light have previously provided rather consistent resources and sources of information for organisms, artificial nighttime lighting has a broad range of biological impacts, affecting both diurnal and nocturnal species.

Light is a major abiotic force influencing the physiology, behaviour and reproduction of both plants and animals. Disruption of natural cycles of light by the introduction of artificial light at night has been shown to have marked effects on many species by altering their physiology or behaviour. It is likely that these impacts in turn alter rates of resource use, reproduction, mortality, immigration and emigration at the level of populations and may result in changes in patterns of abundance and the distribution of species, the structuring of ecological communities and in the functioning of ecosystems.

Ecolight’s work examines all these scales from individual plant or animal to ecosystem impacts.

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