The EcoLux experiment was established in the beginning of 2020 in 12 of the 24 EcoUnits. It tested how the multiple ecosystem responses are influenced by light pollution. The light treatment simulates natural lunar cycles and a range of sky glow intensities.
Or main research question is:
“How do movement patterns of diurnal and nocturnal invertebrates change with increasing light pollution?”
The upper soil layer will be equipped with an RFID sensor network to track tagged invertebrates. The tracking will be conducted over an entire natural moon cycle.
We hypothesize that (1) nocturnal species avoid open space (higher isolation) and show reduced activity as well as speed and encounter rates. In contrast, (2) diurnal species use the open space more intensively (higher connectivity), show increased activity and increased speed along with higher encounter rates.
Additional lines of inquiry include tests of light pollution on plant and soil performance and community composition.
The outcomes of this study will contribute to the elaboration of future light pollution scenarios.