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      Chronobiology by moonlight.

      Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

      Animals, Behavior, Animal, physiology, Circadian Rhythm, Feeding Behavior, Invertebrates, Light, Moon, Predatory Behavior, Reproduction, Vertebrates

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          Abstract

          Most studies in chronobiology focus on solar cycles (daily and annual). Moonlight and the lunar cycle received considerably less attention by chronobiologists. An exception are rhythms in intertidal species. Terrestrial ecologists long ago acknowledged the effects of moonlight on predation success, and consequently on predation risk, foraging behaviour and habitat use, while marine biologists have focused more on the behaviour and mainly on reproduction synchronization with relation to the Moon phase. Lately, several studies in different animal taxa addressed the role of moonlight in determining activity and studied the underlying mechanisms. In this paper, we review the ecological and behavioural evidence showing the effect of moonlight on activity, discuss the adaptive value of these changes, and describe possible mechanisms underlying this effect. We will also refer to other sources of night-time light ('light pollution') and highlight open questions that demand further studies.

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          Most cited references 122

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          How Do Glucocorticoids Influence Stress Responses? Integrating Permissive, Suppressive, Stimulatory, and Preparative Actions

           R M Sapolsky (2000)
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            Ecological light pollution

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              Mass spawning in tropical reef corals.

              Synchronous multispecific spawning by a total of 32 coral species occurred a few nights after late spring full moons in 1981 and 1982 at three locations on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The data invalidate the generalization that most corals have internally fertilized, brooded planula larvae. In every species observed, gametes were released; external fertilization and development then followed. The developmental rates of externally fertilized eggs and longevities of planulae indicate that planulae may be dispersed between reefs.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                23825199
                3712431
                10.1098/rspb.2012.3088

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