Ecological Trap - Polarized Light Pollution

Polarized Light Pollution

Polarized light pollution is perhaps the most compelling and well-documented cue triggering ecological traps (Horvath et al., in press) Orientation to polarized sources of light is the most important mechanism that guides at least 300 species of dragonflies, mayflies, caddisflies, tabanid flies, diving beetles, water bugs and other aquatic insects in their search for the water bodies they require for suitable feeding/breeding habitat and oviposition sites. Because of their strong linear polarization signature, artificial polarizing surfaces (e.g., asphalt, gravestones, cars, plastic sheeting, oil pools, windows) are commonly mistaken for bodies of water(Horváth and Zeil 1996; Kriska et al. 1998, 2006a, 2007, 2008; Horváth et al. 2007, 2008) -->. Light reflected by these surfaces is often more highly polarized than that of light reflected by water, artificial polarizers can be even more attractive to polarotactic aquatic insects than a water body(Horváth and Zeil 1996; Horváth et al. 1998; Kriska et al. 1998) --> and appear as exaggerated water surfaces acting as supernormal optical stimuli. Consequently, dragonflies, mayflies, caddisflies and other water-seeking specieis actually prefer to mate, settle, swarm and oviposit upon these surfaces than available water bodies.

Read more about this topic:  Ecological Trap

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