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The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution: a mechanistic appraisal

Kevin J. Gaston1, Jonathan Bennie, Thomas W. Davies1 andJohn Hopkins

Article first published online: 8 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1111/brv.12036

The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution have been a longstanding source of concern, accentuated by realized and projected growth in electrical lighting. As human communities and lighting technologies develop, artificial light increasingly modifies natural light regimes by encroaching on dark refuges in space, in time, and across wavelengths. A wide variety of ecological implications of artificial light have been identified. However, the primary research to date is largely focused on the disruptive influence of nighttime light on higher vertebrates, and while comprehensive reviews have been compiled along taxonomic lines and within specific research domains, the subject is in need of synthesis within a common mechanistic framework. Here we propose such a framework that focuses on the cross-factoring of the ways in which artificial lighting alters natural light regimes (spatially, temporally, and spectrally), and the ways in which light influences biological systems, particularly the distinction between light as a resource and light as an information source. We review the evidence for each of the combinations of this cross-factoring. As artificial lighting alters natural patterns of light in space, time and across wavelengths, natural patterns of resource use and information flows may be disrupted, with downstream effects to the structure and function of ecosystems. This review highlights: (i) the potential influence of nighttime lighting at all levels of biological organisation (from cell to ecosystem); (ii) the significant impact that even low levels of nighttime light pollution can have; and (iii) the existence of major research gaps, particularly in terms of the impacts of light at population and ecosystem levels, identification of intensity thresholds, and the spatial extent of impacts in the vicinity of artificial lights.


Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting

de Catherine Rich (Sous la direction de), Travis Longcore (Sous la direction de)

A reader might anticipate from its title that ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF ARTIFICIAL NIGHT LIGHTING holds a in-depth technical focus on night lighting's impact on nature - but it goes beyond chronicling science to consider how human activities from lighting affects animals and plants in a variety of ways. 'Photopollution' exists nearly everywhere thanks to mankind's activities: here are examples not only of effects on plants, insects and animals but how to mitigate them. Sections seek a readable approach by pairing vignettes of events and experiences of nighttime creatures with plenty of science and analysis of the physiological and behavioral effects of light pollution. It's these vignettes which make this book accessible not only to college-level students of science, nature and ecology but the general non-scientist public library browser, as well.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch



Pollution lumineuse, elle empêche l'air de se purifier

L'éclairage artificiel des villes détruit les molécules qui purifient l'air, présentes la nuit dans l'atmosphère. Pis, il les transforme: elles deviendront, de jour, des agents polluants Pour lutter contre la pollution atmosphérique le jour, réduisons l'éclairage des villes la nuit.

Ce pourrait être la leçon à tirer des travaux menés à Los Angeles par Harald Stark. Ce chimiste de la National Oceanic and Atmos-pheric Administration a découvert que la lumière des lampadaires détruisait des composés chimiques nécessaires au nettoyage naturel de l'atmosphère.


City lighting 'boosts pollution'

Bright city lights exacerbate air pollution, according to a study by US scientists. Their research indicates that the glare thrown up into the sky interferes with chemical reactions. These reactions would normally help clean the air during the night of the fumes emitted by motor cars and factories during the day.


Nocturnal pollinators go dark under street lamps

Nature | News

Nocturnal pollinators go dark under street lamps

Plants illuminated by artificial lights see a drop in the number of insects that move pollen at night. Jason Bittel

02 August 2017

When the sun goes down, moths, beetles and other nocturnal insects that spread pollen between plants go to work. But the latest research reveals that these creatures might be at risk from artificial lighting.

Scientists working in Switzerland report large drop-offs in pollinator visits as well as reduced fruit production in patches of cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum) under artificial lighting at night, in a study published on 2 August in Nature1. Researchers were largely in the dark about how problems such as light pollution affected pollinators. But the study authors say their work highlights how the human footprint can reverberate throughout an ecosystem — even after people have gone to bed.

The researchers placed mobile street lamps over plots of cabbage thistle that had never before been exposed to artificial light at night. Using night-vision goggles to observe and capture pollinators, the team found that those plots had 62% fewer visitations from insects than plots situated in darkness. The artificially lit plants also saw 29% fewer pollinator species.


les_impacts_ecologiques_generalite.txt · Dernière modification: 2017/08/04 12:03 par lemstephane