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Open AccessArticle

Long-Term Comparison of Attraction of Flying Insects to Streetlights after the Transition from Traditional Light Sources to Light-Emitting Diodes in Urban and Peri-Urban Settings

1
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, 12587 Berlin, Germany
2
Dutch Butterfly Conservation, 6702 Wageningen, The Netherlands
3
Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt University of Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany
4
Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6198; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226198
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
Among the different light sources used for street lighting, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are likely to dominate the world market in the coming years. At the same time, the spectral composition of nocturnal illumination is changing. Europe and many other areas worldwide have implemented bans on energy-inefficient lamps, such as the still very common mercury vapor lamps. However, the impact of artificial light on insects is mostly tested with light-traps or flight-intercept traps that are used for short periods only. By comparing the numbers of insects attracted by street lamps before and after replacing mercury vapor light sources (MV) with light emitting diodes, we assessed the impact in more typical (urban and peri-urban) settings over several years. We found that LED attracted approximately half of the number of insects compared to MV lights. Furthermore, most insect groups are less drawn by LED than by MV, while Hymenoptera are less attracted by MV than by LED. Thus, the composition of the attracted communities differed between the light sources, which may impact ecosystem processes and functions. In green peri-urban settings more insects are attracted than in an urban setting, but the relative difference between the light sources is the same. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial light; Hymenoptera; LED; Lepidoptera; mercury vapor; moths; phototaxis artificial light; Hymenoptera; LED; Lepidoptera; mercury vapor; moths; phototaxis
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van Grunsven, R.H.A.; Becker, J.; Peter, S.; Heller, S.; Hölker, F. Long-Term Comparison of Attraction of Flying Insects to Streetlights after the Transition from Traditional Light Sources to Light-Emitting Diodes in Urban and Peri-Urban Settings. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6198.

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