Declines in moth populations stress the need for conserving dark nights

  title={Declines in moth populations stress the need for conserving dark nights},
  author={Frank van Langevelde and Marijke Braamburg-Annegarn and Martinus E. Huigens and R. F. Groendijk and Olivier Poitevin and Jurri{\"e}n R van Deijk and Willem N. Ellis and Roy H. A. van Grunsven and Rob de Vos and Rutger A. Vos and Markus Franz{\'e}n and Michiel F. WallisDeVries},
  journal={Global Change Biology},
  pages={925 - 932}
Given the global continuous rise, artificial light at night is often considered a driving force behind moth population declines. Although negative effects on individuals have been shown, there is no evidence for effects on population sizes to date. Therefore, we compared population trends of Dutch macromoth fauna over the period 1985–2015 between moth species that differ in phototaxis and adult circadian rhythm. We found that moth species that show positive phototaxis or are nocturnally active… 

Is light pollution driving moth population declines? A review of causal mechanisms across the life cycle

It is found that ALAN can also disrupt reproduction, larval development, and pupal diapause, with likely negative impacts on individual fitness, and that moths can be indirectly affected via hostplants and predators.

Impacts of Artificial Light at Night on Nocturnal and Diurnal Insect Biology and Diversity

  • R. Borges
  • Environmental Science
    Indian Journal of Entomology
  • 2022
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is leading to light pollution on local and global scales. Reflected and scattered light contributes to skyglow over cities and large industrial complexes. ALAN is one

The rising moon promotes mate finding in moths

It is shown that male moths use the moon for orientation and reach females significantly faster with increasing moon elevation, indicating that the moon plays a key role in the orientation ofmale moths.

Assessing long‐term effects of artificial light at night on insects: what is missing and how to get there

Widespread and significant declines of insect population abundances and biomass are currently one of the most pressing issues in entomology, ecology and conservation biology. It has been suggested

Lack of local adaptation of feeding and calling behaviours by Yponomeuta cagnagellus moths in response to artificial light at night

It is suggested that ALAN affects the phenotypical calling behaviour by females and feeding behaviour by male moths of Y. cagnagellus but has not resulted in adaptation and studies into more moth species are required to determine the extent to which a lack of adaptation to ALAN may contribute to current global declines in moth populations.

Direct and ambient light pollution alters recruitment for a diurnal plant-pollinator system.

The results suggest that ALAN can positively influence the fitness of both plants and moths in this tightly co-evolved mutualism, but the benefits to each species may depend on whether night lighting is direct or indirect.

Light pollution hampers recolonization of revitalised European Nightjar habitats in the Valais (Swiss Alps)

Increasing light emissions caused by human activities have been recognized as a major threat for nocturnal animals. In Switzerland, the European Nightjar is a rare bird, decreasing in numbers since

Mechanistic, ecological, and evolutionary consequences of artificial light at night for insects: review and prospective

Why insects are relevant biological models to investigate the impact of ALAN is presented and the phenotypic responses to ALAN and their underpinning mechanisms are reviewed, and promising future avenues are identified.

The impact of artificial light at night on nocturnal insects: A review and synthesis

This review proposes five categories of ALAN impact on nocturnal insects, highlighting past research and identifying key knowledge gaps, and concludes with a summary of relevant literature on bioluminescent fireflies, which emphasizes the unique vulnerability of terrestrial light‐based communication systems to artificial illumination.



Artificial night lighting inhibits feeding in moths

It is shown that moths subjected to artificial night lighting spend less time feeding than moths in darkness, with the shortest time under light conditions rich in short wavelength radiation, providing evidence for sublethal effects contributing to moth population declines.

The dark side of street lighting: impacts on moths and evidence for the disruption of nocturnal pollen transport

Findings support the disruptive impact of lights on moth activity, which is one proposed mechanism driving moth declines, and suggest that street lighting potentially impacts upon pollination by nocturnal invertebrates.

Artificial light at night inhibits mating in a Geometrid moth

This study provides, for the first time, field‐based evidence that artificial night lighting disrupts reproductive behaviour of moths, and that reducing short wavelength radiation only partly mitigates these negative effects.

Reduced flight-to-light behaviour of moth populations exposed to long-term urban light pollution

It is reported that moth populations from urban areas with high, globally relevant levels of light pollution over several decades show a significantly reduced flight-to-light behaviour compared with populations of the same species from pristine dark-sky habitats.

Ecological consequences of artificial night lighting

This book will provide the first reference on the profound effects that night lights have on plants, animals, and whole ecosystems, isolated within taxonomic specialties, with no synthesis of overall effects of the loss of natural darkness on ecological communities.

Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem

Artificial light at night has a wide range of biological effects on both plants and animals. Here, we review mechanisms by which artificial light at night may restructure ecological communities by

Long-term population trends in widespread British moths

The Rothamsted Insect Survey has operated a Great Britain-wide network of light-traps since 1968. From these data we estimated the first ever national abundance indices and 35-year population trends

Shedding light on moths: shorter wavelengths attract noctuids more than geometrids

Comparison of shorter wavelength (SW) and longer wavelength (LW) lighting to macromoths found striking differences in the relative attractiveness of different wavelengths to different moth groups, useful in determining the impact of artificial light on moth populations.

Climatic warming increases voltinism in European butterflies and moths

  • F. Altermatt
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2009
Using a dataset extending back to the mid-nineteenth century, changes in the voltinism of butterfly and moth species of Central Europe are reported, showing a significant proportion of 263 multi-voltine species showed augmented frequency of second and subsequent generations relative to the first generation in a warm period since 1980.