Light Pollution Killing Insects. Recent Study

by Editor

Light pollution is having a dramatic impact on the insect population of our planet… A recent study has shown.

We never really give much thought to the idea that the common street lamp could be a perfect place for insect predators to gather for a feed? But according to research which is the first of its kind, this is the case.

Many invertebrates gather in large communities around street lights at night. The affect is said to have a dramatic impact upon species that are reliant on these creatures as food sources.

A group of crows hanging out at the fly-through?

We depend on a ton of electricity on this earth and lighting our neighborhoods is part of that. While there’s an environmental impact, there’s also another issue brewing that researchers at the University of Exeter have discovered.  

The study shows for the first time that the balance of different species living together is being radically altered as a result of light pollution in our towns and cities.

Believed to be increasing by six per cent a year globally, artificial lighting is already known to affect individual organisms, according to the report. However, this is the first time that its impact on whole communities has been investigated.  

This study shows that groups of invertebrates living near to artificial lights include more predators and scavengers. This could be impacting on the survival rates of different species, having a knock-on effect on birds and mammals that rely on these species for food. The effects could be affecting entire ecosystems and even humans.

Source: Technorati

Little research has been done into the long term affects that our cities have upon food chains. This research is the first of a kind in this field and we are likely to see more of this kind of research as environmentalist strive to understand the delicate balance between nature and man.

I have never really given much though to the moths and bugs hovering obsessively around the street lamps at night. I suppose that if I were a spider, I would build my web right under a street light as the insects attracted to the moon like glow would be a never ending source of alfresco dining!

All jokes aside… As cities continue to grow in size and population I feel that we have not really given much though what so ever into the micro effects that this growth trend will have on the planets biosphere.

As we continue to upset the delicate balance of nature, we must be prepared for the consequences.

I would like to see more areas set aside for the preservation and conservation of our wildlife, both great and small. Insects maybe be small but they form an integral part of the delicate food chain of our planet.

The next time you go to step on a bug that is in your path, think twice about who’s dinner you have just squished!

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