May 22, 2018

Cavities shield birds from effects of artificial light at night on sleep

Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Thomas RaapMarcel Eens

Abstract

Light pollution is an ever increasing worldwide problem disrupting animal behavior. Artificial light at night (ALAN) has been shown to affect sleep in wild birds. Even cavity-nesting bird species may be affected when sleeping inside their cavity. Correlational studies suggest that light from outside the cavity/nest box, for example from street lights, may affect sleep. We used an experimental design to study to what extent nest boxes shield animals from effects of ALAN on sleep. We recorded individual sleep behavior of free-living great tits (Parus major) that were roosting in dark nest boxes and exposed their nest box entrance to ALAN the following night (1.6 lux white LED light; a similar light intensity as was found at nest boxes near street lights). Their behavior was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest boxes on both nights. Our experimental treatment did not affect sleep behavior. Sleep behavior of birds in the control group did not differ from that of individuals in the light treated group. Our results suggest that during winter cavities shield birds from some effects of ALAN. Furthermore, given that effects of ALAN and exposure to artificial light are species-, sex-, and season-dependent, it is import...Continue Reading

  • References39
  • Citations2

References

  • References39
  • Citations2

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Sleep, Slow-Wave
Genus Parus
Gastroschisis
Body Cavities
Nesting Behavior
Light
Dental Caries
Experimental Design
Aves

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