Data from: Altered breeding biology of the European blackbird under artificial light at night
Russ, Anja; Lučeničová, Terézia; Klenke, Reinhard (2017), Data from: Altered breeding biology of the European blackbird under artificial light at night, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dm03d
Artificial light at night (LAN) has become a stressor of global extent. Previous work has highlighted the high potential of LAN to interfere with annual and diel rhythms of seasonal organisms as well as to affect interactions at the community level. However, our understanding how LAN induced alterations of activity and breeding cycles affect the reproductive outcome and fitness of the birds is still limited. Here, we focus on the effects of night time illumination on the breeding biology of urban European blackbirds (Turdus merula). Our results indicate that blackbirds prefer illuminated nest sites and advance their date of clutch initiation by 6 days per 1 lux of night time illumination. Furthermore, daily nest survival rates increased with increasing LAN although this effect was most pronounced for the transition from dark to slightly illuminated sites. We suggest that blackbirds breeding under low artificial night light conditions benefit from the LAN-avoidance of their major predators (nocturnal) whereas predominant predators of blackbirds nesting in the city centre are diurnal and are, thus, not affected by LAN. Hence, it seems likely that both direct effects of LAN on the timing of reproduction as well as indirect effects on interspecific interactions might contribute to the observed changes in the breeding biology of European blackbirds.This study emphasizes the diverse ecological effects of the night time illumination which are – in its complexity – still poorly understood.