Continued research on other nocturnal organisms allows more insight into the effects of light pollution on animal behavior, of which continues to invade the lives of night creatures. Scientists could investigate behavioral responses to the effects of artificial light by rearing house crickets from eggs in a controlled environment, and tamper with the way the circadian cycle normally operates. This is a plausible avenue to test if cricket behavior changes when exposed to artificial light, in comparison with our study. This experiment may be better suited for nocturnal organisms, but it could also be conducted with diurnal animals like humans as a measure to gather more and variant data. Better understanding the negatives of artificial light through several contrasting experiments prevents limitation and can help society better understand the effects on a widespread scale. This experiment used a 5 watt lamp, but the results could also connect with bright city lights, technology usage, or even different parts of the world (consequences of jet lag via airplane travel). Studying just one field of animal behavior can answer many questions about the evolutionary mechanisms organisms have developed, and allows an opportunity for scientists to deduct a plethora of new and rich information from behavioral research.
You are here
Our project was based off of group 2's proposal. We loved their idea and thought it would be really interesting to observe lichen around campus, especially for me, because lichen is not something you pay close mind to every day. The idea that the quantity of lichen could be an indicator of the air pollution was a nice comparison. Counting lichen is fairly straightforward to do, and therefore, we set out to search for lichen at the campus pond and Sylvan woods and compare their differences!
We set up one 4 x 4 plot with flags around those two areas and used a metal grid to count each individual lichen on north facing trees that appeared in the grid - one meter up each tree; depending on how many trees were inside of the plot. We were able to get this equipment from Peter Alpert. So we looked for crustose, fruticose, and foliose, though mostly found foliose and crustose because we did not find any fruticose on the trees we looked at. Our results from T testing showed no significant differences between the campus pond and Sylvan, so this told us that there was no difference between the air pollution in those areas.
Although we all expected Sylvan to have much more lichen, and therefore less air pollution because of how rural it is in comparison to the frequented campus pond, we assume the reason for there not being a significant difference is because we did not go deep enough into Sylvan woods. We took data from the outside, and expect that if we ventured deeper, we might have seen more of a difference that we could have drawn evidence from.
Regardless of complications, the experiment yielded great findings that confirmed hypotheses and predictions from previous research. Taking all the information into account from this study, further experimentation should be administered. Continued research on other nocturnal organisms would allow more insight into the effects of light pollution, which continues to invade the lives of night creatures. A possible avenue could be raising house crickets from eggs and manipulating their circadian rhythms to test if the effect of artificial light on mating behavior changes after tampering with their biological clock. This experiment may be better suited for nocturnal organisms, but it could also be conducted with diurnal animals as a measure to gather more and variant data. Better understanding the negatives of artificial light through an experiment such as this one can help society understand the effects on a widespread scale. This experiment used a 5 watt lamp, but the results could also connect with bright city lights, technology usage, or even different parts of the world (airplane travel or jet lag). Studying just one field of animal behavior can answer many questions about the evolutionary mechanisms organisms have developed, and allows the opportunity for scientists to discover a plethora of new and rich possibilities in behavioral research.
It was imperative to Include the Mann Whitney U-test to justify the evidence despite minor errors. From the data collected, the higher U value calculated using the rankings in table 3 resulted in the rejection of the null hypothesis, verifying that a relationship exists between light variance and mating behavior in Acheta d., and that light is the factor controlling the decrease in frequency. Without the support of using this statistical measure, there would be no means of validating the data as parametric or nonparametric (Jakob et al., 2014). There were 3 possible errors during the experiment. Nevertheless, they did not significantly impact the major findings from the statistical analysis. It was impossible for the dark environment to be completely absent of light, and thus the minimal lighting could have interrupted courting in Acheta d. which in may have weakened the concentration gradient between behavioral displays in the light and dark environment. The experiment was also conducted in a short time frame, and therefore limited the data. Long term studies allow for repeated measurements and are a more powerful method of advancing theory (Kuebbing et al,. 2018), so the allotted time frame in this experiment was not ideal. A third issue in this experiment was the reduction of predetermined sample size, due to high demand for crickets in other lab groups.
The bright light in the habitat of nocturnal Acheta d. reduced courting behavior in all lit trials. When disorienting their entrained rhythm of night time activity (Nowosielski et al., 2003), the crickets did not adjust well, leading to the decrease in courting behavior from both sexes. Even chirping, the intense method of attracting mates (University of Bristol, 2012), was less prevalent. In contrast, the dark environment simulated natural habitat conditions in Acheta d. and therefore did not impact their behavioral patterns. The results from chirping suggest that light is negatively impacting the behavior in these vocal invertebrates, supported by the knowledge of cricket calls being magnified during the evening when there is no light (Forrest, 1980). This experiment also parallels with the results from previous research involving melatonin production in humans (Gooley et al., 2010). Despite not being mutually exclusive, the differing internal clocks of Acheta d. and humans during the night are both disrupted by artificial light: leading to their physiological and ultimately behavioral changes. The differences in the data collected from the lit and unlit conditions demonstrate biological clocks having an acute sensitivity, and is evident that light lead to decreased frequency of mating behaviors because of its disruption of the circadian rhythm.
In this experiment, the objective was to build upon pre-existing research, and determine the effects artificial light has on mating behavior during the active period in Acheta domesticus similar to the results found with Teleogryllus commodus (Botha, et al., 2017). It was hypothesized that bright light disrupts mating behaviors in Acheta d. The hypothesis was supported by evidence from Teleogryllus commodus, and by data from this experiment: concluding that sexual productivity slowed in crickets based on major findings. Specifically, when exposed to a lit environment, all behaviors were displayed less by Acheta d. compared to the dark environment. Afterwards, the data was tested for validity via statistical analysis of the Mann Whitney U-test. The results were statistically significant and the null hypothesis was rejected: confirming that light is a factor decreasing the frequency of mating behavior in crickets.
Frequency of Courting Behaviors — House crickets engaged in fewer mating behaviors while under artificial light when compared to no artificial light. Tables 1 and 2 display the results tallied during the experiment of the three major courting behaviors found in Acheta domesticus, (Tables 1 and 2). Mounting, a common mating behavior, increased significantly in the environment with no light (Figure 1). This behavior yielded the greatest change, whereas pursuing the female was only different by 7 separate instances (Fig. 1).
Statistical Analysis — A Mann Whitney U-test was performed to determine if the difference between the two sets of unpaired, numeric data was significant. All three behaviors were displayed at a higher frequency in the environment with no artificial light. Using the data and rankings presented in table 3, the Mann Whitney U-test indicated that frequency of courting behaviors was significantly higher in the environment with no artificial light than the environment with artificial light (U = 25, p
Ponds contribute more to biodiversity and ecological processes than any other small aquatic ecosystems. Research has shown that they house the most unique and rare species compared with all others in this category. This information has only recently become available, so further research into pond biodiversity is necessary. From the research that has already been conducted, scientists have suggested that ponds are havens for all plants and organisms involved due to the high biodiversity and well maintained ecosystem.
However, the research is still scarce. So without observing further, we risk losing the opportunity to study these oases of species diversity which are responsible for high levels of biodiversity: and therefore the knowledge and capability to conserve these environments. At the worst, we risk losing these ecosystems altogether. This loss could be detrimental to species diversity on both a local and global scale. With this in mind, it is our goal to determine the health of local pond ecosystems that have yet to be studied, and make suggestions on what kinds of foreign plants could be introduced in order to spread awareness and one day prevent potential catastrophic loss.
Over the course of the last week, I had the opportunity to listen to 3 different pieces from different composers and players in class for the last assignment in the Music 100 course. Before the performances I assumed we’d be listening to similar styles that we heard during class from the composers we studied. However, I did not expect the songs to be nearly as unique or individualized as they turned out to be so it was a very interesting experience to say the least.
The first song the class heard was composed by Jazer Giles. It was titled, Piece for Live Electronics (2017). What stood out about this in particular was that there was no instrumentation involved. It was solely comprised by videos transcoded into music through complex algorithms. This varying frequencies were not pre recorded or rehearsed at all. I enjoyed the fact that there was chance for error because Giles explained that no two performances were the same. This was very innovative. In terms of parameters, the pitch slowly increased and was very monotone for the beginning. What I found interesting was that the pitch and duration reinforced each other to create a bubbling effect during the piece. The dynamics were mostly stable as there was not much variation in softness or loudness. I assumed the tonality would be minor if it did have a “tone.” Lastly, the mood of the piece resembled an outer space, dream like state.This effect was meant to be exciting but not jarring. The message was to get people asking questions about what was taking place within the composition of the music.
Next, was titled Unfolding, for Solo Saxophone (2017), by Victor Zheng. Right off the bat, the mood of the piece was clear. I felt an almost ominous feeling of walking through a mysterious dark forest while listening to the saxophone player. The pitch was all over the place, and unpredictable. There were moments of softness and jumps into louder part during the performance. Similarly to the other piece, the tempo was irregular. I would compare this to a recitative because it was difficult to follow or hum along to. As far as the instrumentation goes, this thin textural tune had a lot of repetition for effect and pauses in the song as well. Overall, this piece differed from the last greatly, even though they both were unique in their own ways.
Lastly, was a more traditional set up, or so I thought. Titled Wind Quartet by Dominick Mrakovich, was a lineup of woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, bassoon), and brass (french horn). I was ready to listen to a piece that was more like the ones we have heard in class. Again, the performance took me by storm quite literally when the players began the song by blowing air into the instruments to create a “wind” effect. This helped set the mood to yet another very unique piece. The theme of minor tonality and free meter like in the others, was in this performance as well. Many dissonances filled the song as the instruments clustered each others’ sounds in both call and response and in a thick texture. I was surprised to see something that looked so typical be so creative.
This was a great opportunity to be exposed to the infinite different styles, techniques, and shapes that music can take. I’ve never heard anything like the performances I saw this week, and was a very different experience than the concert I went to a few weeks prior for the report. This classroom premiere showed me how music does not always have to fall within a category. As a composer and as a player, you have the liberty to transform music into a way you see fit, so I was very surprised by the expressivity in these 3 pieces because it was much different from my expectation of what the premiere was going to be like. Nonetheless, it was different in a great way.. This premiere and the music class in general gave me the ability to explore, and I will definitely remember this in the years to come.
Ponds contribute more to biodiversity and ecological processes than any other small aquatic ecosystems. Research has shown that they house the most species, the most unique species, and the most rare species of all small aquatic ecosystem types. This information has only recently become available, so there is a need for further research into pond biodiversity. Scientists have suggested from early research that these small aquatic ecosystems are havens for high biodiversity and ecosystem use.
Without further research into ponds, we risk losing the opportunity to study these oases of species diversity which are responsible for high levels of biodiversity. If we do not study these environments and how to conserve them, we risk losing these ecosystems altogether. This loss could be detrimental to species diversity on both a local and global scale. With this in mind, we aim to determine the health of local pond ecosystems that have yet to be studied and make suggestions on what kinds of foreign plants could be introduced in order to prevent catastrophic loss.