Night skies through animals' eyes : Quantifying night-time visual scenes and light pollution as viewed by animals

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2022
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Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience ; 16 (2022). - 984282. - Frontiers Research Foundation. - eISSN 1662-5102
Abstract
A large proportion of animal species enjoy the benefits of being active at night, and have evolved the corresponding optical and neural adaptations to cope with the challenges of low light intensities. However, over the past century electric lighting has introduced direct and indirect light pollution into the full range of terrestrial habitats, changing nocturnal animals’ visual worlds dramatically. To understand how these changes affect nocturnal behavior, we here propose an animal-centered analysis method based on environmental imaging. This approach incorporates the sensitivity and acuity limits of individual species, arriving at predictions of photon catch relative to noise thresholds, contrast distributions, and the orientation cues nocturnal species can extract from visual scenes. This analysis relies on just a limited number of visual system parameters known for each species. By accounting for light-adaptation in our analysis, we are able to make more realistic predictions of the information animals can extract from nocturnal visual scenes under different levels of light pollution. With this analysis method, we aim to provide context for the interpretation of behavioral findings, and to allow researchers to generate specific hypotheses for the behavior of nocturnal animals in observed light-polluted scenes.
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570 Biosciences, Biology
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natural visual scenes, all-sky imaging, dim light vision, light pollution, ALAN, hawkmoth, mouse, fruitfly
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ISO 690STÖCKL, Anna L., James J. FOSTER, 2022. Night skies through animals' eyes : Quantifying night-time visual scenes and light pollution as viewed by animals. In: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. Frontiers Research Foundation. 16, 984282. eISSN 1662-5102. Available under: doi: 10.3389/fncel.2022.984282
BibTex
@article{Stockl2022Night-58924,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.3389/fncel.2022.984282},
  title={Night skies through animals' eyes : Quantifying night-time visual scenes and light pollution as viewed by animals},
  volume={16},
  journal={Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience},
  author={Stöckl, Anna L. and Foster, James J.},
  note={Article Number: 984282}
}
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