Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) causes size-dependent effects on intertidal fish decision-making

José Pulgar, Patricio H. Manríquez, Stephen Widdicombe, Roberto García-Huidobro, Pedro A. Quijón, Mauricio Carter, Marcela Aldana, Diego Quintanilla-Ahumada, Cristian Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) alters cycles of day and night, potentially modifying species' behavior. We assessed whether exposure to ALAN influences decision-making (directional swimming) in an intertidal rockfish (Girella laevisifrons) from the Southeastern Pacific. Using a Y-maze, we examined if exposure to ALAN or natural day/night conditions for one week affected the number of visits and time spent in three Y-maze compartments: dark and lit arms (“safe” and “risky” conditions, respectively) and a neutral “non-decision” area. The results showed that fish maintained in natural day/night conditions visited and spent more time in the dark arm, regardless of size. Instead, fish exposed to ALAN visited and spent more time in the non-decision area and their response was size-dependent. Hence, prior ALAN exposure seemed to disorient or reduce the ability of rock fish to choose dark conditions, deemed the safest for small fish facing predators or other potential threats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115190
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • ALAN
  • Body size
  • Decision-making
  • Intertidal fish
  • Scototaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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