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      Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem

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          Abstract

          Artificial light at night has a wide range of biological effects on both plants and animals. Here, we review mechanisms by which artificial light at night may restructure ecological communities by modifying the interactions between species. Such mechanisms may be top-down (predator, parasite or grazer controlled), bottom-up (resource-controlled) or involve non-trophic processes, such as pollination, seed dispersal or competition. We present results from an experiment investigating both top-down and bottom-up effects of artificial light at night on the population density of pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum in a diverse artificial grassland community in the presence and absence of predators and under low-level light of different spectral composition. We found no evidence for top-down control of A. pisum in this system, but did find evidence for bottom-up effects mediated through the impact of light on flower head density in a leguminous food plant. These results suggest that physiological effects of light on a plant species within a diverse plant community can have detectable demographic effects on a specialist herbivore.

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          Most cited references 63

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          Cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from a coastal ocean.

          Impacts of chronic overfishing are evident in population depletions worldwide, yet indirect ecosystem effects induced by predator removal from oceanic food webs remain unpredictable. As abundances of all 11 great sharks that consume other elasmobranchs (rays, skates, and small sharks) fell over the past 35 years, 12 of 14 of these prey species increased in coastal northwest Atlantic ecosystems. Effects of this community restructuring have cascaded downward from the cownose ray, whose enhanced predation on its bay scallop prey was sufficient to terminate a century-long scallop fishery. Analogous top-down effects may be a predictable consequence of eliminating entire functional groups of predators.
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            Killer whale predation on sea otters linking oceanic and nearshore ecosystems

            After nearly a century of recovery from overhunting, sea otter populations are in abrupt decline over large areas of western Alaska. Increased killer whale predation is the likely cause of these declines. Elevated sea urchin density and the consequent deforestation of kelp beds in the nearshore community demonstrate that the otter's keystone role has been reduced or eliminated. This chain of interactions was probably initiated by anthropogenic changes in the offshore oceanic ecosystem.
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              Top-Down and Bottom-Up Forces in Food Webs: Do Plants Have Primacy

               Mary Power (1992)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
                Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci
                RSTB
                royptb
                Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                The Royal Society
                0962-8436
                1471-2970
                5 May 2015
                5 May 2015
                : 370
                : 1667 , Theme issue ‘The biological impacts of artificial light at night: from molecules to communities’ compiled and edited by Kevin J. Gaston, Marcel E. Visser and Franz Hölker
                Affiliations
                Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter , Penryn TR10 9FE, UK
                Author notes
                Article
                rstb20140131
                10.1098/rstb.2014.0131
                4375371
                25780243

                © 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                May 5, 2015

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