A new study shows excess outdoor light is impacting how insects hunt, mate and make them more vulnerable to predators.
Insect numbers have plummeted at an alarming rate due to a variety of factors, including increased use of pesticides, farming practices that destroy habitat, and industrial pollution. A new study in the journal Biological Conservation adds another major cause to the list: human-created light pollution.
In a meta-analysis, researchers reviewed 229 previous studies that looked at the impact “artificial light at night” has on insect species. About half of the millions of insect species on Earth are nocturnal, meaning artificial light can have a big impact on their nocturnal life cycles, reports Damian Carrington at The Guardian. Currently, artificial light covers about a quarter of the Earth’s surface.