Nightlights for stream dwellers? No, thanks
Study: Artificial light harms ecosystem health
Artificial light at night isn’t just a health problem for those of us sitting in bed scrolling through Instagram instead of hitting the sack — it hurts entire outdoor ecosystems. When the critters that live in and around streams and wetlands are settling into their nighttime routines, streetlights and other sources of illumination filter down through the trees and into their habitat, monkeying with the normal state of affairs, according to new research from The Ohio State University. “This is among the first studies to show that light at night has detrimental effects not just on individual organisms in the environment, but also on communities and ecosystems,” said Mazeika Sullivan, lead author of the study, which appears today (Dec. 19, 2018) in the journal Ecological Applications. “Nighttime light is having profound impacts that extend to the entire ecosystem,” said Sullivan, director of Ohio State’s Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park and associate professor of environment and natural resources.