Artificial light at night, in interaction with spring temperature, modulates timing of reproduction in a passerine bird

Dominoni, D. M. , Kjellberg Jensen, J., de Jong, M., Visser, M. E. and Spoelstra, K. (2020) Artificial light at night, in interaction with spring temperature, modulates timing of reproduction in a passerine bird. Ecological Applications, 30(3), e02062. (doi: 10.1002/eap.2062) (PMID:31863538) (PMCID:PMC7187248)

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The ecological impact of artificial light at night (ALAN) on phenological events such as reproductive timing is increasingly recognized. In birds, previous experiments under controlled conditions showed that ALAN strongly advances gonadal growth, but effects on egg‐laying date are less clear. In particular, effects of ALAN on timing of egg laying are found to be year‐dependent, suggesting an interaction with climatic conditions such as spring temperature, which is known have strong effects on the phenology of avian breeding. Thus, we hypothesized that ALAN and temperature interact to regulate timing of reproduction in wild birds. Field studies have suggested that sources of ALAN rich in short wavelengths can lead to stronger advances in egg‐laying date. We therefore tested this hypothesis in the Great Tit (Parus major), using a replicated experimental set‐up where eight previously unlit forest transects were illuminated with either white, green, or red LED light, or left dark as controls. We measured timing of egg laying for 619 breeding events spread over six consecutive years and obtained temperature data for all sites and years. We detected overall significantly earlier egg‐laying dates in the white and green light vs. the dark treatment, and similar trends for red light. However, there was a strong interannual variability in mean egg‐laying dates in all treatments, which was explained by spring temperature. We did not detect any fitness consequence of the changed timing of egg laying due to ALAN, which suggests that advancing reproduction in response to ALAN might be adaptive.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research is supported by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW, which is part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and which is partly funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The project is supported by Philips and the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM). Additional funding was obtained by an NWO Open Competition grant (“Ageing in the light,” 260‐25310) to D. M. Dominoni and M. E. Visser.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dominoni, Dr Davide
Authors: Dominoni, D. M., Kjellberg Jensen, J., de Jong, M., Visser, M. E., and Spoelstra, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Ecological Applications
ISSN (Online):1939-5582
Published Online:20 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Ecological Applications 30(3): e02062
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5061/dryad.8931zcrm0

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