Pollination is an ongoing process that doesn’t take a break even at night. On the contrary, while the busy bees are taking a nap, their night shift is replacing them until sunrise. These workers are also insects such as beetles and flies. However, researchers found that artificial light is harming these nocturnal creatures. On top of that, side-effects can reach diurnal pollinators eventually.
Scientists Used Mobile Streetlamps on Half of a Territory in Switzerland while the Rest Remained in Darkness
As of recently, authorities and environmental advocates have gone to great extent to remedy a concerning issue for the entire Earth. This situation refers to bee colony populations and the events that are causing extensive reductions among their numbers. However, there are other issues that endanger the health of our crops. For instance, researchers have recently found that nocturnal pollinators are at risk too.
The study appeared in journal Nature and investigated the effects of artificial light on the insects of the night such as flies and beetles. The team of researchers work at the University of Bern. They employed mobile streetlamps to measure its negative influence on nocturnal pollinators. Therefore, they started illuminating half of 14 plots on Switzerland’s pre-Alps while the rest of the territory remained in darkness.
Areas with Artificial Light Received 62% Fewer Nocturnal Pollinators
The results of the study indicate that artificial sources of light are harming biodiversity. The main observations were that the illuminated fields received 62% fewer insects than the plots in the dark. Furthermore, illuminated areas had 29% less diversity of pollinating insects than the dark corners.
On top of that, the study found that artificial light affects diurnal insects as well even though in an indirect way. That’s because the work levels at night are impaired. Consequently, insects encounter harder tasks in the daytime to cover all the unattended spots. The results are less fruit production and less nourishing nutrients for insects themselves.
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