Effects of artificial light at night on fishes: A synthesis with future research priorities
Author ORCID Identifier
0000-0001-8235-6411 : Oliver Love
Fish and Fisheries
artificial light at night, behaviour, community structure, fitness, light pollution, physiology
Nearly all organisms rely on natural fluctuations of light as cues for synchronizing physiological processes and behavioural actions associated with foraging, growth, sleep and rest, reproduction, and migration. Consequently, although artificial lighting sources have provided a plethora of benefits for humans, they can lead to disruptions for wild organisms. With one quarter of the human population living within 100 km of coastlines, there is great potential for artificial light at night (ALAN) to influence the physiology, behaviour and fitness of fishes. Through a review of the literature (n = 584 publications focused on the effects of ALAN on individual organisms or ecosystems), we illustrate that most papers have concentrated on terrestrial species (59%) compared with aquatic species (20%) or a mixed approach (21%). Fishes have been underrepresented in comparison with many other taxa such as birds, insects and mammals, representing the focus of less than 8% of taxa-specific publications. While the number of publications per year focusing on fishes has generally been increasing since the mid-2000s, there has been a downturn in publication rate in the last few years. To understand where research related to ALAN in fishes has been focused, we partitioned studies into categories and found that publications have mostly concerned behaviour (41.0%), abundance and community structure (24.4%), and physiology (22.8%), while the longer-term effects on fitness (6.9%) are lacking. We synthesize the research completed in fishes and outline future priorities that will help ascertain the short- and long-term consequences of this relatively novel stressor for fish health and persistence.
Bassi, Arshpreet; Love, Oliver P.; Cooke, Steven J.; Warriner, Theresa R.; Harris, Christopher M.; and Madliger, Christine L.. (2022). Effects of artificial light at night on fishes: A synthesis with future research priorities. Fish and Fisheries, 23 (3), 631-647.