Artificial light at night reduces daily energy expenditure in breeding great tits (Parus major)

Welbers, A. A.M.H., van Dis, N. E., Kolvoort, A. M., Ouyang, J., Visser, M. E., Spoelstra, K. and Dominoni, D. M. (2017) Artificial light at night reduces daily energy expenditure in breeding great tits (Parus major). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 55. (doi:10.3389/fevo.2017.00055)

Welbers, A. A.M.H., van Dis, N. E., Kolvoort, A. M., Ouyang, J., Visser, M. E., Spoelstra, K. and Dominoni, D. M. (2017) Artificial light at night reduces daily energy expenditure in breeding great tits (Parus major). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 55. (doi:10.3389/fevo.2017.00055)

[img]
Preview
Text
186035.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

1MB

Abstract

The ecological impact of artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasingly recognized process that accompanies expanding urbanization. Yet, we have limited knowledge on the impact of ALAN on wild species, and on the potential to mitigate any negative effects by using different light sources and colors. In birds, effects of ALAN on activity levels are reported for several species and, hence, their daily energy expenditure (DEE) may be affected. DEE is a potent mediator of life-history trade-offs and fitness and thus an important aspect to consider when examining the potential long-term ecological effects of ALAN. Previous work has suggested that birds exposed to ALAN show higher levels of provisioning and nocturnal activity, suggesting that white ALAN increases DEE. Other factors regulating DEE, such as provisioning behavior and food availability, might also respond to ALAN and thus indirectly affect DEE. We tested the hypothesis that ALAN increases DEE using an experimental setup where four previously unlit transects were illuminated with either white, green, or red LED light, or left dark as a control treatment. This setup was replicated in eight locations across the Netherlands. We measured DEE of our focal species, the great tit (Parus major), using a novel doubly labeled water technique that uses breath rather than blood samples. Contrary to our expectations, birds feeding their offspring under white and green ALAN showed lower DEE compared to birds in the control dark treatment. Differences in chick provisioning activity did not explain this result, as neither visit rates nor daily activity timing was affected by light treatment. However, food availability under white and green light was much higher compared to red light and the dark control. This difference strongly suggests that the lower DEE under white and green ALAN sites is a consequence of higher food availability in these treatments. This result shows that there can be positive, indirect effects of ALAN for breeding song birds which may balance against the negative direct effects shown in previous studies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dominoni, Dr Davide
Authors: Welbers, A. A.M.H., van Dis, N. E., Kolvoort, A. M., Ouyang, J., Visser, M. E., Spoelstra, K., and Dominoni, D. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN:2296-701X
ISSN (Online):2296-701X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Welbers, van Dis, Kolvoort, Ouyang, Visser, Spoelstra and Dominoni
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 5: 55
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record