Effects of dimming light-emitting diode street lights on light-opportunistic and light-averse bats in suburban habitats

Elizabeth G. Rowse*, Stephen Harris, Gareth Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
301 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Emerging lighting technologies provide opportunities for reducing carbon footprints, and for biodiversity conservation. In addition to installing light-emitting diode street lights, many local authorities are also dimming street lights. This might benefit light-averse bat species by creating dark refuges for these bats to forage and commute in human-dominated habitats. We conducted a field experiment to determine how light intensity affects the activity of the light-opportunistic Pipistrellus pipistrellus and light-averse bats in the genus Myotis. We used four lighting levels controlled under a central management system at existing street lights in a suburban environment (0, 25, 50 and 100% of the original output). Higher light intensities (50 and 100% of original output) increased the activity of light-opportunistic species but reduced the activity of light-averse bats. Compared to the unlit treatment, the 25% lighting level did not significantly affect either P. pipistrellus or Myotis spp. Our results suggest that it is possible to achieve a light intensity that provides both economic and ecological benefits by providing sufficient light for human requirements while not deterring light-averse bats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180205
Number of pages10
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • ALAN
  • Bat activity
  • Dimming
  • Light-averse species
  • Light-emitting diode street lights
  • Light-opportunistic species

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