Reducing the Maladaptive Attractiveness of Solar Panels to Polarotactic Insects

@article{Horvth2010ReducingTM,
  title={Reducing the Maladaptive Attractiveness of Solar Panels to Polarotactic Insects},
  author={G{\'a}bor Horv{\'a}th and Mikl{\'o}s Blah{\'o} and {\'A}d{\'a}m Egri and Gy{\"o}rgy Kriska and Istv{\'a}n Seres and Bruce A. Robertson},
  journal={Conservation Biology},
  year={2010},
  volume={24}
}
Human-made objects (e.g., buildings with glass surfaces) can reflect horizontally polarized light so strongly that they appear to aquatic insects to be bodies of water. [] Key Method Using imaging polarimetry, we measured the reflection-polarization characteristics of different solar panels and in multiple-choice experiments in the field we tested their attractiveness to mayflies, caddis flies, dolichopodids, and tabanids. At the Brewster angle, solar panels polarized reflected light almost completely…

Figures and Tables from this paper

How to disguise evolutionary traps created by solar panels

Photovoltaic panels are the most rapidly growing source of sustainable energy, but are also sources of polarized light pollution that can mislead aquatic insects into thinking they represent natural

Color polarization vision mediates the strength of an evolutionary trap

The results demonstrate that the color of artificial lighting can exacerbate or reduce its attractiveness to aquatic insects, but that the strength of attractiveness of nocturnal evolutionary traps, and so their demographic consequences, is primarily driven by unpolarized light pollution.

Bioreplicated coatings for photovoltaic solar panels nearly eliminate light pollution that harms polarotactic insects

It is demonstrated that bioreplicated cover layers were almost unattractive to these species, which is indicative of reduced polarized light pollution, and pave the way to novel photovoltaic cover layers, the interface of which can be designed to improve sunlight conversion efficiency while minimizing their detrimental influence on the ecology and conservation of polarotactic aquatic insects.

Anthropogenic polarization and polarized light pollution inducing polarized ecological traps

This chapter shows how the maladaptive attractiveness (PLP) of certain artificial surfaces to polarotactic insects can be reduced or eliminated, and shows that phototaxis and polarotaxis together have a more harmful effect on the dispersal flight of night-active aquatic insects than they would have separately.

Polarized light pollution of matte solar panels: anti-reflective photovoltaics reduce polarized light pollution but benefit only some aquatic insects

ARCs are most likely to reduce PLP and benefit aquatic insects under sunny skies and when used in conjunction with white non-polarizing gridding, but may actually exacerbate the severity of their negative effects under overcast conditions.

Polarization Vision of Aquatic Insects

The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, has been thought to locate its breeding habitats exclusively by chemical cues, but it is demonstrated here that horizontally polarized light can also attract ovipositing Ae.

Phototaxis and polarotaxis hand in hand: night dispersal flight of aquatic insects distracted synergistically by light intensity and reflection polarization

Experimental evidence is provided for the synergistic interaction of phototaxis and polarotaxis (induced by the strongly and horizontally polarized plastic-reflected light) in the investigated aquatic insects that can function as an effective ecological trap due to this synergism of optical cues.

Unexpected Attraction of Polarotactic Water-Leaving Insects to Matt Black Car Surfaces: Mattness of Paintwork Cannot Eliminate the Polarized Light Pollution of Black Cars

It is shown that matt car-paints are highly polarization reflecting, and these matt paints are not suitable to repel polarotactic insects, meaning that changing shiny black car painting to matt one is a disadvantageous fashion fad concerning the reduction of polarized light pollution of black vehicles.

Bridges as optical barriers and population disruptors for the mayfly Palingenia longicauda: an overlooked threat to freshwater biodiversity?

It is demonstrated that bridges can be optical barriers for aquatic insects and can cause population-level impacts, such as biased sex ratios, in natural populations and Sex ratio biases due to bridges may decrease effective population size and genetic variability.

Linearly Polarized Light as a Guiding Cue for Water Detection and Host Finding in Tabanid Flies

It is shown that tabanid flies are attracted to horizontally polarized light stimulating their ventral eye region, and it is demonstrated that the use of a striped fur pattern has the advantage that such coat patterns attract far fewer tabanids than either homogeneous black, brown, grey or white equivalents.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 39 REFERENCES

Polarization vision in aquatic insects and ecological traps for polarotactic insects

The polarization vision of aquatic insects, which detect water from a distance by the horizontally polarized light refl ected from the water surface, is reviewed and positive polarotaxis has been discovered in over 250 species of aquatic Insects.

Polarization vision in water insects and insects living on a moist substrate

  • R. Schwind
  • Biology
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2004
Light polarized by reflection was tested in the field for its attractiveness to flying insects, and three response groups emerge: one is attracted whenever the degree of polarization is high in the UV-range, another is attracted only by the reflecting surface over a dark background, and the third ranges in between.

Glass buildings on river banks as “polarized light traps” for mass-swarming polarotactic caddis flies

It is proposed that after its emergence from the river, H. pellucidula is attracted to buildings by their dark silhouettes and the glass-reflected, horizontally polarized light after sunset, and this attraction may be strengthened by positive phototaxis elicited by the buildings’ lights.

Imaging polarimetry of glass buildings: why do vertical glass surfaces attract polarotactic insects?

This work measured the reflection-polarization patterns of shady and sunlit, black and white vertical glass surfaces from different directions of view under clear and overcast skies and determined which areas of the investigated glass surfaces are sensed as water by a hypothetical polarotactic insect facing and flying toward or landed on a vertical pane of glass.

Spectral regions in which aquatic insects see reflected polarized light

  • R. Schwind
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2004
For diverse water insects (species of Hydrophilidae, Hadraenidae, Dytiscidae, Haliplidae and aquatic Heteroptera), the attractiveness of an artificial water surface was found to vary when the polarization of the reflected light was abolished in different regions of the spectrum.

Polarized light pollution: a new kind of ecological photopollution

The capacity of PLP to drastically increase mortality and reproductive failure in animal populations suggests that PLP should become a focus for conservation biologists and resource managers alike.

Why do red and dark-coloured cars lure aquatic insects? The attraction of water insects to car paintwork explained by reflection–polarization signals

Monitoring the numbers of aquatic beetles and bugs attracted to shiny black, white, red and yellow horizontal plastic sheets, it is found that red and black reflectors are equally highly attractive to water insects, while yellow and white reflector are unattractive.

A ‘polarisation sun‐dial’ dictates the optimal time of day for dispersal by flying aquatic insects

It is concluded that the optimal times of day for aquatic insects to disperse are the periods of low and high solar elevations h, and the h-dependent reflection–polarisation patterns, combined with an appropriate air temperature, clearly explain why polarotactic aquatic insects disperse to new habitats in mid-morning, and/or around noon and/ or at dusk.

Why do mayflies lay their eggs en masse on dry asphalt roads? Water-imitating polarized light reflected from asphalt attracts Ephemeroptera.

It is shown here that Ephemeroptera can be deceived by and attracted to dry asphalt roads because of the strongly horizontally polarized light reflected from the surface, and that mayflies detect water by means of polarotaxis.

Dragonflies Recognize the Water of Rendezvous and Oviposition Sites by Horizontally Polarized Light: A Behavioural Field Test

A comparison of the polarization pattern of freshwater habitats recorded by video polarimetry in red, green and blue spectral ranges and its relevance for water detection by aquatic insects and the sensitivities of dragonfly photoreceptors is presented.