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Artificial light pollution increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens.

Yorzinski JL, Chisholm S, Byerley SD, Coy JR, Aziz A, Wolf JA, Gnerlich AC - PeerJ (2015)

Bottom Line: Even though many animals are now living in these changed environments, the effect light pollution has on animal behavior is poorly understood.We found that light pollution significantly increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens.Our study demonstrates that light pollution can have a substantial impact on animal behavior that can potentially result in fitness consequences.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University , West Lafayette, IN , United States ; Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University , West Lafayette, IN , United States.

ABSTRACT
Artificial light pollution is drastically changing the sensory environments of animals. Even though many animals are now living in these changed environments, the effect light pollution has on animal behavior is poorly understood. We investigated the effect of light pollution on nocturnal vigilance in peahens (Pavo cristatus). Captive peahens were exposed to either artificial lighting or natural lighting at night. We employed a novel method to record their vigilance behavior by attaching accelerometers to their heads and continuously monitoring their large head movements. We found that light pollution significantly increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens. Furthermore, the birds faced a trade-off between vigilance and sleep at night: peahens that were more vigilant spent less time sleeping. Given the choice, peahens preferred to roost away from high levels of artificial lighting but showed no preference for roosting without artificial lighting or with low levels of artificial lighting. Our study demonstrates that light pollution can have a substantial impact on animal behavior that can potentially result in fitness consequences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Sample of the accelerometer data in swing (X), sway (Y), and yaw (Z).Arrows indicate the four times when the peahen makes a head movement. This graph is also displayed in Video S1.
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fig-2: Sample of the accelerometer data in swing (X), sway (Y), and yaw (Z).Arrows indicate the four times when the peahen makes a head movement. This graph is also displayed in Video S1.

Mentions: We synchronized the accelerometer data with the behavioral videos (Logger Pro, Vernier Software and Technology, LLC; Fig. 2; Video S1). We labeled the accelerometer data to indicate when a head movement began and ended. We labeled small head movements (less than 5 deg) and large head movements (greater than 5 deg). The small head movements primarily occurred when the bird blinked or moved its head slightly while sleeping; it is unlikely that these small head movements were related to vigilance behavior and it was necessary to exclude them from the analysis. In order to quantitatively distinguish between small and large head movements, we determined the absolute value of the range of the acceleration in the x, y, and z and then summed these three ranges (‘acceleration range’) for each head movement. We found that 70% of the small head movements had an acceleration range below 4.61 m s−2 and 70% of large head movements had an acceleration range above 5.30 m s−2. We therefore reclassified the coded data such that only head movements with an acceleration range greater than 4.90 m s−2 were classified as head movements (Video S2).


Artificial light pollution increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens.

Yorzinski JL, Chisholm S, Byerley SD, Coy JR, Aziz A, Wolf JA, Gnerlich AC - PeerJ (2015)

Sample of the accelerometer data in swing (X), sway (Y), and yaw (Z).Arrows indicate the four times when the peahen makes a head movement. This graph is also displayed in Video S1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4558073&req=5

fig-2: Sample of the accelerometer data in swing (X), sway (Y), and yaw (Z).Arrows indicate the four times when the peahen makes a head movement. This graph is also displayed in Video S1.
Mentions: We synchronized the accelerometer data with the behavioral videos (Logger Pro, Vernier Software and Technology, LLC; Fig. 2; Video S1). We labeled the accelerometer data to indicate when a head movement began and ended. We labeled small head movements (less than 5 deg) and large head movements (greater than 5 deg). The small head movements primarily occurred when the bird blinked or moved its head slightly while sleeping; it is unlikely that these small head movements were related to vigilance behavior and it was necessary to exclude them from the analysis. In order to quantitatively distinguish between small and large head movements, we determined the absolute value of the range of the acceleration in the x, y, and z and then summed these three ranges (‘acceleration range’) for each head movement. We found that 70% of the small head movements had an acceleration range below 4.61 m s−2 and 70% of large head movements had an acceleration range above 5.30 m s−2. We therefore reclassified the coded data such that only head movements with an acceleration range greater than 4.90 m s−2 were classified as head movements (Video S2).

Bottom Line: Even though many animals are now living in these changed environments, the effect light pollution has on animal behavior is poorly understood.We found that light pollution significantly increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens.Our study demonstrates that light pollution can have a substantial impact on animal behavior that can potentially result in fitness consequences.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University , West Lafayette, IN , United States ; Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University , West Lafayette, IN , United States.

ABSTRACT
Artificial light pollution is drastically changing the sensory environments of animals. Even though many animals are now living in these changed environments, the effect light pollution has on animal behavior is poorly understood. We investigated the effect of light pollution on nocturnal vigilance in peahens (Pavo cristatus). Captive peahens were exposed to either artificial lighting or natural lighting at night. We employed a novel method to record their vigilance behavior by attaching accelerometers to their heads and continuously monitoring their large head movements. We found that light pollution significantly increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens. Furthermore, the birds faced a trade-off between vigilance and sleep at night: peahens that were more vigilant spent less time sleeping. Given the choice, peahens preferred to roost away from high levels of artificial lighting but showed no preference for roosting without artificial lighting or with low levels of artificial lighting. Our study demonstrates that light pollution can have a substantial impact on animal behavior that can potentially result in fitness consequences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus