Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The impact of artificial lighting on bats along native coastal vegetation

Grant D. Linley
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

Ecological Insights, Black Rock, Vic., Australia. Email: grant.linley@gmail.com

Australian Mammalogy 39(2) 178-184 https://doi.org/10.1071/AM15047
Submitted: 10 November 2015  Accepted: 31 August 2016   Published: 7 October 2016

Abstract

Anthropogenic light pollution is increasing rapidly within urban areas around the world, causing a raft of ecological issues, including species loss. I used echolocation detectors to uncover the impact of artificial lighting on insectivorous bat (Chiroptera) species in Melbourne’s south-east. Surveys were undertaken in native vegetation at a lit treatment, which was illuminated by a street light, and an unlit treatment, which was dark. Bat activity and species richness at unlit treatments was significantly higher when compared with lit treatments. The temperature at which the greatest activity occurred was ~2°C higher at unlit treatments than lit treatments. Bat activity at both the lit and unlit treatments increased rapidly after sunset. Bat activity moderately decreased during the night at lit treatments until sunrise, whilst activity at unlit treatments remained steady throughout the night before rapidly decreasing two hours before sunrise. The negative effect of artificial lighting on bat activity and species in urban areas may have major long-term implications on the ecology of urban areas.

Additional keywords: echolocation, insectivorous bats, lighting, urban ecology.


References

Adams, M. D., Law, B. S., and French, K. O. (2005). Effect of lights on activity levels of forest bats: increasing the efficiency of surveys and species identification. Wildlife Research 32, 173–182.
Effect of lights on activity levels of forest bats: increasing the efficiency of surveys and species identification.CrossRef |

Aldridge, H., and Rautenbach, I. (1987). Morphology, echolocation and resource partitioning in insectivorous bats. Journal of Animal Ecology 56, 763–778.
Morphology, echolocation and resource partitioning in insectivorous bats.CrossRef |

Avery, M. I. (1985). Winter activity of pipistrelle bats. Journal of Animal Ecology 54, 721–738.
Winter activity of pipistrelle bats.CrossRef |

Avila-Flores, R., and Fenton, M. B. (2005). Use of spatial features by foraging insectivorous bats in a large urban landscape. Journal of Mammalogy 86, 1193–1204.
Use of spatial features by foraging insectivorous bats in a large urban landscape.CrossRef |

Basham, R., Law, B., and Banks, P. (2011). Microbats in a ‘leafy’ urban landscape: are they persisting, and what factors influence their presence? Austral Ecology 36, 663–678.

Bat Sense (2010). ‘Bat Calls of Southern and Central Victoria.’ (Bat Sense: Healesville, Victoria.)

Bayside Council (2007). City of Bayside community profile. Bayside Council, Melbourne.

Blake, D., Hutson, A. M., Racey, P. A., Rydell, J., and Speakman, J. R. (1994). Use of lamplit roads by foraging bats in southern England. Journal of Zoology 234, 453–462.
Use of lamplit roads by foraging bats in southern England.CrossRef |

Bureau of Meteorology (2015). Climate Data. Commonwealth of Australia. Available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/ [accessed 20 September 2016].

Cinzano, P., Falchi, F., and Elvidge, C. D. (2001). The first world atlas of the artificial night sky brightness. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 328, 689–707.
The first world atlas of the artificial night sky brightness.CrossRef |

Colwell, R. K., Mao, C. X., and Chang, J. (2004). Interpolating, extrapolating, and comparing incidence-based species accumulation curves. Ecology 85, 2717–2727.
Interpolating, extrapolating, and comparing incidence-based species accumulation curves.CrossRef |

Danthanarayana, W., and Dashper, S. (1986). Response of some night-flying insects to polarized light. In ‘Insect Flight’. (Ed. W. Danthanarayana.) pp. 120–127. (Springer: Berlin & Heidelberg.)

Day, J., Baker, J., Schofield, H., Mathews, F., and Gaston, K. J. (2015). Part-night lighting: implications for bat conservation. Animal Conservation 18, 512–516.
Part-night lighting: implications for bat conservation.CrossRef |

Ecology Australia (2008). Bayside native vegetation works program – stage 1. Bayside City Council, Melbourne.

Elvidge, C. D., Imhoff, M. L., Baugh, K. E., Hobson, V. R., Nelson, I., Safran, J., Dietz, J. B., and Tuttle, B. T. (2001). Night-time lights of the world: 1994–1995. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 56, 81–99.
Night-time lights of the world: 1994–1995.CrossRef |

Fischer, J., and Lindenmayer, D. B. (2007). Landscape modification and habitat fragmentation: a synthesis. Global Ecology and Biogeography 16, 265–280.
Landscape modification and habitat fragmentation: a synthesis.CrossRef |

Furlonger, C., Dewar, H., and Fenton, M. (1987). Habitat use by foraging insectivorous bats. Canadian Journal of Zoology 65, 284–288.
Habitat use by foraging insectivorous bats.CrossRef |

Gonsalves, L., Lamb, S., Webb, C., Law, B., and Monamy, V. (2013). Do mosquitoes influence bat activity in coastal habitats? Wildlife Research 40, 10–24.
Do mosquitoes influence bat activity in coastal habitats?CrossRef |

Gotelli, N. J., and Colwell, R. K. (2001). Quantifying biodiversity: procedures and pitfalls in the measurement and comparison of species richness. Ecology Letters 4, 379–391.
Quantifying biodiversity: procedures and pitfalls in the measurement and comparison of species richness.CrossRef |

Hill, J. E., and Smith, J. D. (1984). ‘Bats: a Natural History.’ (University of Texas Press: Austin.)

Hölker, F., Moss, T., Griefahn, B., Kloas, W., Voigt, C. C., Henckel, D., Hänel, A., Kappeler, P. M., Völker, S., Schwope, A., Franke, S., Uhrlandt, D., Fischer, J., Klenke, R., Wolter, C., and Tockner, K. (2010). The dark side of light: a transdisciplinary research agenda for light pollution policy. Ecology and Society 15, 13.

Hourigan, C. L., Catterall, C. P., Jones, D., and Rhodes, M. (2010). The diversity of insectivorous bat assemblages among habitats within a subtropical urban landscape. Austral Ecology 35, 849–857.
The diversity of insectivorous bat assemblages among habitats within a subtropical urban landscape.CrossRef |

Lacoeuilhe, A., Machon, N., Julien, J.-F., Le Bocq, A., and Kerbiriou, C. (2014). The influence of low intensities of light pollution on bat communities in a semi-natural context. PLoS One 9, e103042.
The influence of low intensities of light pollution on bat communities in a semi-natural context.CrossRef | 25360638PubMed |

Longcore, T., and Rich, C. (2004). Ecological light pollution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2, 191–198.
Ecological light pollution.CrossRef |

Lumsden, L. F., Bennett, A. F., and Silins, J. E. (2002). Location of roosts of the lesser long-eared bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi and Gould’s wattled bat Chalinolobus gouldii in a fragmented landscape in south-eastern Australia. Biological Conservation 106, 237–249.
Location of roosts of the lesser long-eared bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi and Gould’s wattled bat Chalinolobus gouldii in a fragmented landscape in south-eastern Australia.CrossRef |

McKinney, M. L. (2002). Urbanization, biodiversity, and conservation: the impacts of urbanization on native species are poorly studied, but educating a highly urbanized human population about these impacts can greatly improve species conservation in all ecosystems. Bioscience 52, 883–890.
Urbanization, biodiversity, and conservation: the impacts of urbanization on native species are poorly studied, but educating a highly urbanized human population about these impacts can greatly improve species conservation in all ecosystems.CrossRef |

McKinney, M. (2008). Effects of urbanization on species richness: a review of plants and animals. Urban Ecosystems 11, 161–176.
Effects of urbanization on species richness: a review of plants and animals.CrossRef |

Milne, D. J. (2006). Habitat relationships, activity patterns and feeding ecology of insectivorous bats of the top end of Australia. Ph.D. Thesis, James Cook University.

Milne, D. J., Fisher, A., Rainey, I., and Pavey, C. R. (2005). Temporal patterns of bats in the top end of the Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Mammalogy 86, 909–920.
Temporal patterns of bats in the top end of the Northern Territory, Australia.CrossRef |

Pennay, M., Law, B., and Reinhold, L. (2004). Bat calls of NSW: region based guide to the echolocation calls of microchiropteran bats. NSW Department of Environment and Conservation.

Richards, G. (1989). Nocturnal activity of insectivorous bats relative to temperature and prey availability in tropical Queensland. Wildlife Research 16, 151–158.
Nocturnal activity of insectivorous bats relative to temperature and prey availability in tropical Queensland.CrossRef |

Rydell, J. (1991). Seasonal use of illuminated areas by foraging northern bats Eptesicus nilssoni. Ecography 14, 203–207.
Seasonal use of illuminated areas by foraging northern bats Eptesicus nilssoni.CrossRef |

Rydell, J. (1992). Exploitation of insects around streetlamps by bats in Sweden. Functional Ecology 6, 744–750.
Exploitation of insects around streetlamps by bats in Sweden.CrossRef |

Rydell, J., Entwistle, A., and Racey, P. A. (1996). Timing of foraging flights of three species of bats in relation to insect activity and predation risk. Oikos 76, 243–252.
Timing of foraging flights of three species of bats in relation to insect activity and predation risk.CrossRef |

Scanlon, A., and Petit, S. (2008a). Biomass and biodiversity of nocturnal aerial insects in an Adelaide City park and implications for bats (Microchiroptera). Urban Ecosystems 11, 91–106.
Biomass and biodiversity of nocturnal aerial insects in an Adelaide City park and implications for bats (Microchiroptera).CrossRef |

Scanlon, A. T., and Petit, S. (2008b). Effects of site, time, weather and light on urban bat activity and richness: considerations for survey effort. Wildlife Research 35, 821–834.
Effects of site, time, weather and light on urban bat activity and richness: considerations for survey effort.CrossRef |

Schlacher, T. A., Jones, A. R., Dugan, J. E., Weston, M. A., Harris, L., Schoeman, D. S., Hubbard, D. M., Scapini, F., Nel, R., Lastra, M., McLachlan, A. and Peterson, C. H. (2014). Open-coast sandy beaches and coastal dunes. In ‘Coastal Conservation’. (Eds B. Maslo, and J. L. Lockwood.) pp. 37–94. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)

Stone, E. L., Jones, G., and Harris, S. (2009). Street lighting disturbs commuting bats. Current Biology 19, 1123–1127.
Street lighting disturbs commuting bats.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1MXosVyhsL0%3D&md5=9b81cb9b86a235d5c7de52745a492a9dCAS | 19540116PubMed |

Stone, E. L., Jones, G., and Harris, S. (2012). Conserving energy at a cost to biodiversity? Impacts of LED lighting on bats. Global Change Biology 18, 2458–2465.
Conserving energy at a cost to biodiversity? Impacts of LED lighting on bats.CrossRef |

Swift, S. M. (1980). Activity patterns of pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in north-east Scotland. Journal of Zoology 190, 285–295.
Activity patterns of pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in north-east Scotland.CrossRef |

Taylor, R., and Oneill, M. (1988). Summer activity patterns of insectivorous bats and their prey in Tasmania. Wildlife Research 15, 533–539.
Summer activity patterns of insectivorous bats and their prey in Tasmania.CrossRef |

Threlfall, C., Law, B., Penman, T., and Banks, P. B. (2011). Ecological processes in urban landscapes: mechanisms influencing the distribution and activity of insectivorous bats. Ecography 34, 814–826.
Ecological processes in urban landscapes: mechanisms influencing the distribution and activity of insectivorous bats.CrossRef |

Threlfall, C. G., Law, B., and Banks, P. B. (2012). Sensitivity of insectivorous bats to urbanization: implications for suburban conservation planning. Biological Conservation 146, 41–52.
Sensitivity of insectivorous bats to urbanization: implications for suburban conservation planning.CrossRef |

Threlfall, C. G., Law, B., and Banks, P. B. (2013). The urban matrix and artificial light restricts the nightly ranging behaviour of Gould’s long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi). Austral Ecology 38, 921–930.
The urban matrix and artificial light restricts the nightly ranging behaviour of Gould’s long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi).CrossRef |

Tidemann, C. (1993). Reproduction in the bats Vespadelus vulturnus, V. regulus and V. darlingtoni (Microchiroptera, Vespertilionidae) in coastal south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 41, 21–35.
Reproduction in the bats Vespadelus vulturnus, V. regulus and V. darlingtoni (Microchiroptera, Vespertilionidae) in coastal south-eastern Australia.CrossRef |

Tidemann, C., and Flavel, S. (1987). Factors affecting choice of diurnal roost site by tree-hole bats (Microchiroptera) in southeastern Australia. Wildlife Research 14, 459–473.
Factors affecting choice of diurnal roost site by tree-hole bats (Microchiroptera) in southeastern Australia.CrossRef |

Turbill, C. (2008). Winter activity of Australian tree-roosting bats: influence of temperature and climatic patterns. Journal of Zoology 276, 285–290.
Winter activity of Australian tree-roosting bats: influence of temperature and climatic patterns.CrossRef |

Turbill, C., Law, B. S., and Geiser, F. (2003). Summer torpor in a free-ranging bat from subtropical Australia. Journal of Thermal Biology 28, 223–226.
Summer torpor in a free-ranging bat from subtropical Australia.CrossRef |

van der Ree, R., and McCarthy, M. A. (2005). Inferring persistence of indigenous mammals in response to urbanisation. Animal Conservation 8, 309–319.
Inferring persistence of indigenous mammals in response to urbanisation.CrossRef |

Van Dyck, S., and Strahan, R. (2008). ‘The Mammals of Australia.’ (New Holland Publishing Pty Ltd: Australia.)



Export Citation

View Altmetrics