Effects of Low-Level Artificial Light at Night on Kentucky Bluegrass and Introduced Herbivore

13 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2020 Last revised: 1 Jul 2021

See all articles by Morgan Crump

Morgan Crump

Department of Fish, Wildlife, Conservation Biology

Cassandra Brown

Department of Fish, Wildlife, Conservation Biology

Robert Nolan-Griffin

Department of Biology

Lisa Angeloni

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Biology

Nathan Lemoine

Department of Biology

Brett Seymoure

Washington University; St. Louis University; Colorado State University

Date Written: October 13, 2020

Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that artificial light at night (ALAN) can negatively impact organisms. However, most studies examine the impacts of ALAN on a single species or under high levels of artificial light that are infrequent or unrealistic in urban environments. We currently have little information on how low levels of artificial light emanating from urban skyglow affect plants and their interactions with herbivores. We examined how low levels of ALAN affect grass and insects, including growth rate, photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance in grass, and foraging behavior and survival in crickets. We compared growth and leaf-level gas exchange of Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) under low-levels of ALAN (0.3 lux) and starlight conditions (night light at 0.001 lux). Furthermore, each light treatment was divided into treatments with and without house crickets (Acheta domesticus). Without crickets present, bluegrass grown under artificial light at night for three weeks grew taller than plants grown under natural night light levels. Once crickets were introduced at the end of week three, grass height decreased resulting in no measurable effects of light treatment. There were no measurable differences in grass physiology among treatments. Our results indicate that low levels of light resulting from skyglow affect plant growth initially. However, with herbivory, ALAN effects on grass may be inconsequential. Gaining an understanding of how ALAN affects plant-insect interactions is critical to predicting ecological and evolutionary consequences of anthropogenic disturbance.

Keywords: Photosynthesis, Urban Light, Plant-Insect Interactions, Herbivory, ALAN

Suggested Citation

Crump, Morgan and Brown, Cassandra and Nolan-Griffin, Robert and Angeloni, Lisa and Lemoine, Nathan and Seymoure, Brett, Effects of Low-Level Artificial Light at Night on Kentucky Bluegrass and Introduced Herbivore (October 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3713450 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3713450

Morgan Crump (Contact Author)

Department of Fish, Wildlife, Conservation Biology ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523
United States

Cassandra Brown

Department of Fish, Wildlife, Conservation Biology ( email )

Department of Economics
Fort Collins, CO 80253-1771
United States

Robert Nolan-Griffin

Department of Biology ( email )

900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

Lisa Angeloni

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Biology ( email )

United States

Nathan Lemoine

Department of Biology ( email )

Brett Seymoure

Washington University ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States
2695018761 (Phone)

St. Louis University ( email )

3511 LaClede Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States

Colorado State University ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771
United States
269 501 8761 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
388
PlumX Metrics