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      Day–night and seasonal variations of a subterranean invertebrate community in the twilight zone

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      Subterranean Biology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Being characterized by the absence of light and a reduced environmental cyclicity, the subterranean domain is generally regarded as temporally stable. Yet, in the proximity of cave entrances (twilight zones), patterns of sunlight and darkness can be detected within the 24-hour day–night cycle. In parallel, changes in the abiotic and biotic conditions are expected; however, these patterns have been rarely explored in animal communities dwelling in the twilight zone. We performed a biological investigation in a small abandoned mine in the Western Alps, monitoring it once per season, both during the day and at night. At each survey, we collected data on the spatial distribution of the resident species, their activity patterns, and the main microclimatic parameters. We observed significant daily variations in the environmental conditions during winter and spring, namely higher temperature, relative humidity and availability of trophic resources at night. In conjunction with these disparate nocturnal conditions, the abundance of troglophile species was also higher, as well as the activity patterns of one of the most frequent species inhabiting the entrance area – the orb-weaver spider Meta menardi. We further documented temporal changes in the composition of the parietal community, due to species using the mine as a diurnal, nocturnal or overwintering shelter. Overall, our results suggest that the communities of the twilight zone are not temporally stable and we highlight the importance of taking into account not only their seasonal, but also their daily variations.

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          Most cited references 67

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          Circadian rhythms from flies to human.

          In this era of jet travel, our body 'remembers' the previous time zone, such that when we travel, our sleep wake pattern, mental alertness, eating habits and many other physiological processes temporarily suffer the consequences of time displacement until we adjust to the new time zone. Although the existence of a circadian clock in humans had been postulated for decades, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms has required the full complement of research tools. To gain the initial insights into circadian mechanisms, researchers turned to genetically tractable model organisms such as Drosophila.
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            The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution: a mechanistic appraisal.

            The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution have been a longstanding source of concern, accentuated by realized and projected growth in electrical lighting. As human communities and lighting technologies develop, artificial light increasingly modifies natural light regimes by encroaching on dark refuges in space, in time, and across wavelengths. A wide variety of ecological implications of artificial light have been identified. However, the primary research to date is largely focused on the disruptive influence of nighttime light on higher vertebrates, and while comprehensive reviews have been compiled along taxonomic lines and within specific research domains, the subject is in need of synthesis within a common mechanistic framework. Here we propose such a framework that focuses on the cross-factoring of the ways in which artificial lighting alters natural light regimes (spatially, temporally, and spectrally), and the ways in which light influences biological systems, particularly the distinction between light as a resource and light as an information source. We review the evidence for each of the combinations of this cross-factoring. As artificial lighting alters natural patterns of light in space, time and across wavelengths, natural patterns of resource use and information flows may be disrupted, with downstream effects to the structure and function of ecosystems. This review highlights: (i) the potential influence of nighttime lighting at all levels of biological organisation (from cell to ecosystem); (ii) the significant impact that even low levels of nighttime light pollution can have; and (iii) the existence of major research gaps, particularly in terms of the impacts of light at population and ecosystem levels, identification of intensity thresholds, and the spatial extent of impacts in the vicinity of artificial lights. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
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              The cave environment.

               Carl White,  T Poulson (1969)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Subterranean Biology
                SB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2615
                1768-1448
                September 19 2018
                September 19 2018
                : 27
                : 31-51
                Article
                10.3897/subtbiol.27.28909
                © 2018

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