Bats and light pollution

Bats are obligate nocturnal mammals that are exposed to increasing levels of light pollination caused by anthropogenic land use changes, most importantly urbanization. All bats of the temperate zone feed predominantly on insects. Since many insects are attracted to light, they accumulate around street lamps and thus represent a valuable and easy-to-access food source for bats. Thus, bats largely benefit from artificial light. Yet, some species seem to avoid foraging in artificial light. Consequently, we expect that the species composition of local bat assemblages is largely affected by artificial light. Artificial light could also reduce the quality of daytime roosts, for example causing  delayed emergence of bats at sunset. Whether or not new light sources, such as LED lamps, may reduce adverse effects on bats is part of our current study. This project is embedded in a larger framework  of academic groups that is working to better understand the positive and negative aspects of artificial light in the night.

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Financial support by BmBF