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.
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