Published on May 23rd, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Street Lights Change Bug Ecology, Even When Not Turned On [Study]
We have known for a long time that insects will gather near turned on street lights but a new study finds that those same bugs tend to hang out under the lights even during the day when they are turned off.
The new study suggests that street lights directly influence the ecology of bugs, even ground-dwelling invertebrates more than previously thought.
According to the BBC the changing of an insects ecology could be bad news because invertebrates in the UK “are undergoing a bit of a biodiversity crisis” which isn’t helped along as insects pool together in large masses underneath the street lights.
While street light studies have examined flying bugs in the past this is the first study to tie-in ground dwelling bugs to those same lights.
To study the effects of the lights scientists set traps over a three-night period and they found more insects trapped near lights than in non-lighted areas, even when caught during the daytime hours.
According to one researcher:
“This study now seems to be indicating that those transient, nocturnal effects on the behavior of the animals are actually being translated into the habitat preferences of the animals in the daytime as well.”