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Title: Ecological consequences of artificial night lighting

item Weber, Donald

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2008
Publication Date: 10/15/2008
Citation: Weber, Donald C. 2008. Ecological consequences of night lighting [book review]. Environmental Entomology 37: 1371-1372.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This edited volume is the best source for the increasingly recognized impact of artificial night lighting on the living world. Fifteen chapters cover effects of artificial lighting on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates (mostly insects), and plants. The book was an outgrowth of the first and only conference on Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting, held in Los Angeles in 2002. The book clearly achieves its twin goals of raising awareness, and reviewing the oft-scarce available data, on night lighting’s effects. The coverage of different groups is uneven. Mainly this reflects the uneven, usually deficient, attention to the effects of artificial lighting on many groups, coupled with the desire of the organizers to represent major groups even if the available information is thin. Birds and sea turtles are given extensive coverage in the reviews as in the primary literature. Three chapters deal principally with insects, and several others (including those on bats and freshwater habitats) also include a significant entomological component. A chapter or two on "what do we do now" would have been welcome. The editors and their associates at The Urban Wildlands Group, and many others influenced by the conference and by this book, are involved in investigating and mitigating impacts. "Ecological consequences of artificial night lighting" is a thought-provoking volume which many entomologists would profit from owning. I gleaned a number of ideas for future studies from this valuable book, and other less tangible but beneficial thoughts on how we as humans perceive and evaluate environmental effects on animals very different from us. It is an effective and well-documented appeal for scientists and citizens to give the dark its due, and to heed our impacts upon its denizens, which are, in fact, all of us.