Skye – Climate change & the Environment
Jul 12 2021
Skye Instruments is pleased to be part of two important environmental studies.
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasing anthropogenic pollutant, closely associated with human population density, and now well recognized in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. However, there is a relatively poor understanding of the effects of ALAN in the marine realm. A field experiment was carried out in the coral reef lagoon of Moorea, French Polynesia using a Skye Underwater Lux Sensor, Underwater PAR Sensor, and SpecroSense2+ logging meter, to investigate the effects of long-term exposure (18–23 months) to chronic light pollution at night on the survival and growth of wild juvenile orange-fin anemonefish, Amphiprion chrysopterus. Long-term exposure to environmentally relevant underwater illuminance (mean: 4.3 lux), reduced survival (mean: 36%) and growth (mean: 44%) of juvenile anemone fish compared to that of juveniles exposed to natural moonlight underwater (mean: 0.03 lux). The study was carried out in an ecologically realistic situation in which the direct effects of artificial lighting on juvenile anemonefish are combined with the indirect consequences of artificial lighting on other species, such as their competitors, predators, and prey, revealed the negative impacts of ALAN on life-history traits. Not only are there immediate impacts of ALAN on mortality, but the decreased growth of surviving individuals may also have considerable fitness consequences later in life. Future studies examining the mechanisms behind these findings are vital to understand how organisms can cope and survive in nature under this globally increasing pollutant.
The study was conducted by Suzanne Mills and the study can be read by obtaining the following paper: Schligler J, Cortese D,Beldade R, Swearer SE, Mills SC. 2021 “Long-term exposure to artificial light at night in the wild decreases survival and growth of a coral reef fish.” Proc. R. Soc. B 288: 20210454.
The second project is being undertaken by The Coral Reef Alliance with the project title ‘Clean Water for Reefs Maui, Reducing Sediment Runoff to the Ocean’. They are looking at the impacts of sediment runoff on coral and if this can be reduced with plants native to the chosen area, Hawaii. This is one of the biggest organisations fighting the cause for coral reef protection.
We were pleased to be able to supply two GPRS enabled MiniMet Weather Stations to The Coral Reef Alliance. The stations were deployed at Wahikuli and Honokowai, Hawaii. The data is being transmitted by a cellular phone network to a server. The data is then available to anyone in the Association via any internet browser. The Association say: “We are so grateful to Skye Instruments Ltd. for becoming a partner in our conservation work. We have been proud to report on the benefits they have provided to our program over the past year and look forward to continuing to share our successes as we continue toward our mission of saving the world’s coral reefs.”
Details of the work of the Coral Reef Alliance can be found on their website.
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