The Gulf Today - Panorama - - HAVE YOU HEARD? -

In­creased ex­po­sure to ar­ti­fi­cial or out­door light, re­ferred to as light pol­lu­tion, at night not only raises health con­cerns for hu­mans but can also sig­nif­i­cantly harm the en­tire ecosys­tem, says a new study.

The study showed that light at night af­fects species’ com­po­si­tion as well as their food chain length. “Night-time light is hav­ing pro­found im­pacts that ex­tend to the en­tire ecosys­tem,” said Mazeika Sul­li­van, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor from the Ohio State Univer­sity in the US. Ar­ti­fi­cial light is a pol­lu­tant, chang­ing the nat­u­ral course of life for peo­ple, an­i­mals and plants.

“We are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this pol­lu­tion that we do not think about, but it is all around us and it is chronic and it is hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where. It is also un­prece­dented in earth’s his­tory,” Sul­li­van added.

For the study, the team ex­am­ined the ef­fect of ex­ist­ing ar­ti­fi­cial light in streams and they ma­nip­u­lated the light in wet­lands.

From those ar­eas, they col­lected a va­ri­ety of wa­ter­d­welling and land-dwelling in­ver­te­brate species, in­clud­ing mayflies, wa­ter bugs, ants and spi­ders.

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