Pollination and fruit infestation under artificial light at night: light colour matters

M.P. Boom, K. Spoelstra, Arjen Biere, Eva Knop, M.E. Visser (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Rapid human population growth and associated urbanization lead to increased artificial illumination of the environment. By changing the natural light–dark cycle, artificial lighting can affect the functioning of natural ecosystems. Many plants rely on insects in order to reproduce but these insects are known to be disturbed by artificial light. Therefore, plant–insect interactions may be affected when exposed to artificial illumination. These effects can potentially be reduced by using different light spectra than white light. We studied the effect of artificial lighting on plant–insect interactions in the Silene latifolia–Hadena bicruris system using a field set-up with four different light treatments: red, green, white and a dark control. We compared the proportion of fertilized flowers and fertilized ovules as well as the infestation of fruits by Hadena bicruris, a pollinating seed predator. We found no difference in the proportion of fertilized flowers among the treatments. The proportion of fruits infested by H. bicruris was however significantly higher under green and white light and a significantly lower proportion of fertilized ovules was found under green light. We show that artificial light with different colours impacts plant–insect interactions differently, with direct consequences for plant fitness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18389
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2020


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