Artificial nighttime light changes aphid-parasitoid population dynamics
Frank van Veen, FJ
Nature Publishing Group
Open access. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is recognized as a widespread and increasingly important anthropogenic environmental pressure on wild species and their interactions. Understanding of how these impacts translate into changes in population dynamics of communities with multiple trophic levels is, however, severely lacking. In an outdoor mesocosm experiment we tested the effect of ALAN on the population dynamics of a plant-aphid-parasitoid community with one plant species, three aphid species and their specialist parasitoids. The light treatment reduced the abundance of two aphid species by 20% over five generations, most likely as a consequence of bottom-up effects, with reductions in bean plant biomass being observed. For the aphid Megoura viciae this effect was reversed under autumn conditions with the light treatment promoting continuous reproduction through asexuals. All three parasitoid species were negatively affected by the light treatment, through reduced host numbers and we discuss induced possible behavioural changes. These results suggest that, in addition to direct impacts on species behaviour, the impacts of ALAN can cascade through food webs with potentially far reaching effects on the wider ecosystem.
The research leading to this paper was funded by the European Research council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 268504 to KJG, and by NERC (grant no. NE/K005650/1) to FJFvV.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Nature Publishing Group via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 5,article 15232
Place of publication