The effect of artificial light on male breeding-season behaviour in green frogs, Rana clamitans melanota
Artificial night lighting (or ecological light pollution) is only now gaining attention as a source of long-term effects on the ecology of both diurnal and nocturnal animals. The limited data available clearly indicate that artificial light can affect physiology and behaviour of animals, leading to ecological consequences at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. Aquatic ecosystems may be particularly vulnerable to such effects, and nocturnally breeding animals such as frogs may be especially affected. To address this potential, we quantify the effects of artificial light on calling and movement behaviour in a rural population of male green frogs (Rana clamitans melanota (Rafinesque, 1820)) during the breeding season. When exposed to artificial light, frogs produced fewer advertisement calls and moved more frequently than under ambient light conditions. Results clearly demonstrate that male green frog behaviour is affected by the presence of artificial light in a manner that has the potential to reduce recruitment rates and thus affect population dynamics.