Washington: While exposure to light at night might be convenient for human beings, it has a harmful effect on the amphibian population, recent findings suggest.
According to a recent study, research on the effects of light pollution has recently seen a surge in popularity.
It’s difficult to find any place on Earth that is not affected by even minimal light pollution. We recognized a gap in the research and realized that not much was known about how light pollution can impact amphibians.
Since amphibians are sensitive to environmental changes, the researchers make models for studying how pollution of any type can impact other species.
As part of the study, a team of researchers exposed wood frogs to a control and two anthropogenic light conditions: intensified daytime illuminance and artificial light at night (ALAN).
They found that both the intensified daytime illuminance treatments and the ALAN treatment decreased hatching success in tadpoles. Tadpoles that were reared in the ALAN treatment, on the other hand, were larger, less active, more sensitive to road salt pollution and had more parasites.
The findings were published in the Journal of Environmental Pollution.
“Overall, I think the main thing we learned from this study is that exposure to light at night has the potential to make amphibians more susceptible to the effects of additional stressors, like road salt and parasites. This is concerning since these are common stressors that many amphibians have to cope with,” said Grascen Shidemantle, lead researcher of the study.
The light at night on itself might not have too much of a negative effect on its own, however, since wildlife rarely encounter just one stressor in their natural habitat, the combination of light pollution with additional stressors may have negative impacts on amphibian populations, researchers explained.