Artificial light at night (ALAN) causes variable dose-responses in a sandy beach isopod

Diego Quintanilla-Ahumada, Pedro A. Quijón, Patricio H. Manríquez, José Pulgar, Manuel R. García-Huidobro, Cristian Miranda, Alfredo Molina, Rodrigo Zuloaga, Cristian Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) is expanding worldwide, and the study of its influence remains limited mainly to documenting impacts, overlooking the variation in key characteristics of the artificial light such as its intensity. The potential dose–response of fitness-related traits to different light intensities has not been assessed in sandy beach organisms. Hence, this study explored dose-responses to ALAN by exposing the intertidal sandy beach isopod Tylos spinulosus to a range of light intensities at night: 0 (control), 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 lx. We quantified the response of this species at the molecular (RNA:DNA ratios), physiological (absorption efficiency) and organismal (growth rate) levels. Linear and non-linear regressions were used to explore the relationship between light intensity and the isopod response. The regressions showed that increasing light intensity caused an overall ~ threefold decline in RNA:DNA ratios and a ~ threefold increase in absorption efficiency, with strong dose-dependent effects. For both response variables, non-linear regressions also identified likely thresholds at 80 lx (RNA:DNA) and 40 lx (absorption efficiency). By contrast, isopod growth rates were unrelated (unaltered) by the increase in light intensity at night. We suggest that ALAN is detrimental for the condition of the isopods, likely by reducing the activity and feeding of these nocturnal organisms, and that the isopods compensate this by absorbing nutrients more efficiently in order to maintain growth levels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • ALAN
  • Dose–response
  • Ecophysiology
  • Mesocosms
  • Sandy beach systems
  • Tylos spinulosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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