Data from: Response of bats to light with different spectra: light-shy and agile bat presence is affected by white and green, but not red light

  • K. Spoelstra Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) (Creator)
  • R.H.A. van Grunsven (Creator)
  • Jip J.C. Ramakers (Creator)
  • Kim B. Ferguson (Creator)
  • Thomas Raap (Creator)
  • Maurice Donners (Creator)
  • Elmar Veenendaal (Creator)
  • Marcel E. Visser (Creator)

Dataset

Description

Artificial light at night has shown a remarkable increase over the past decades. Effects are reported for many species groups, and include changes in presence, behaviour, physiology and life-history traits. Among these, bats are strongly affected, and how bat species react to light is likely to vary with light colour. Different spectra may therefore be applied to reduce negative impacts. We used a unique set-up of eight field sites to study the response of bats to three different experimental light spectra in an otherwise dark and undisturbed natural habitat. We measured activity of three bat species groups around transects with light posts emitting white, green and red light with an intensity commonly used to illuminate countryside roads. The results reveal a strong and spectrum-dependent response for the slow-flying Myotis and Plecotus and more agile Pipistrellus species, but not for Nyctalus and Eptesicus species. Plecotus and Myotis species avoided white and green light, but were equally abundant in red light and darkness. The agile, opportunistically feeding Pipistrellus species were significantly more abundant around white and green light, most likely because of accumulation of insects, but equally abundant in red illuminated transects compared to dark control. Forest-dwelling Myotis and Plecotus species and more synanthropic Pipistrellus species are thus least disturbed by red light. Hence, in order to limit the negative impact of light at night on bats, white and green light should be avoided in or close to natural habitat, but red lights may be used if illumination is needed.
Date made available3 May 2017
PublisherWageningen University & Research
Temporal coverage2012 - 2016

Research Output

Response of bats to light with different spectra: Light-shy and agile bat presence is affected by white and green, but not red light

Spoelstra, K., van Grunsven, R. H. A., Ramakers, J. J. C., Ferguson, K. B., Raap, T., Donners, M., Veenendaal, E. M. & Visser, M. E., 2017, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences. 284, 1855, 20170075.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 34 Citations (Scopus)

    Cite this

    Spoelstra, K. (Creator), van Grunsven, R. H. A. (Creator), Ramakers, J. J. C. (Creator), Ferguson, K. B. (Creator), Raap, T. (Creator), Donners, M. (Creator), Veenendaal, E. M. (Creator), Visser, M. E. (Creator) (3 May 2017). Data from: Response of bats to light with different spectra: light-shy and agile bat presence is affected by white and green, but not red light. Wageningen University & Research. 10.5061/dryad.1g3r5