SP07: Light pollution – Consequences for birds
BILL - Birds in ILluminated Landscapes
In subproject 07 we investigate the influences of different light regimes on bird populations at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
Birds are characterized by an exceptional visual sense, they are even able to see ultraviolet radiation. Especially songbirds adjust their behavior to the rhythm of night and day, e.g. time their dawn song due to changing light intensities (bird clock). The increase in light pollution – around 6 % p.a. – pose a particular challenge for their ability to adapt.
Investigating the effects of artificial night lighting on foraging, mate choice and breeding behavior, we will shed light on physiological costs and ecological consequences in the common blackbird (Turdus merula) in the urban area of Leipzig. The observation of individually marked birds in the course of the year should provide an indication of changes in their population ecology and behavior due to light availability. Accompanying lighting experiments will take place in a rural sample area.
In cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) we will further investigate if there is a shift in the food web caused by artificial night light.
Scientist is Anja Nordt
Leader of subproject is Dr. Reinhard Klenke