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Our night sky is heavily light-polluted which has a far-reaching impact on our ecosystem, changing daily and seasonal timing of a multitude of organisms we share our environment with. At the NIOO-KNAW, we team up with ecologists and chronobiologists all across the Netherlands to restore healthy rhythms for ourselves and in our natural environment.
27/11/2020 Dutch researchers joining forces in the BioClock consortium - including NIOO's Kamiel Spoelstra - have won 9.7 million euros to keep our biological clocks healthy.
Artificial light at night can have a disruptive effect on bats, but not if the light is red. Switching to red light may therefore limit or prevent habitat loss for rare, light-shy bat species. The latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B publishes results from five years of pioneering research led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW).
We produce more and more light at night. Virtually everybody in Europe or the US lives in a light polluted place: all areas where artificial light always exceeds the light of the moon and the stars. These areas expand with about two percent per year, while already light polluted areas become even brighter at night.
Illumination of forest edges leads to a decrease in moth numbers and changes in the behaviour and success of bigger day as well as night-active animals in the long run. What did we find out at NIOO and what can we do with these results?
Songbirds change their behaviour and timing when nestboxes are exposed to artificial light at night. "They become light sleepers, literally and metaphorically", says Maaike de Jong (NIOO-KNAW). She successfully defended her thesis on the effects of different colours of light at Wageningen University on Friday. The most surprising effect she's found? Some birds are forced to become more monogamous...
Kamiel Spoelstra is this year's winner of the Stairway to Impact Award. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded him the prize for his contribution towards the acquisition and propagation of knowledge about the impact of artificial light on flora and fauna.
Healthy surface water and soils are essential for life on earth, providing diverse life-support functions. How are these ecosystem services affected by human activity, and how can we change this?