CPNS2018-2/28: Incorporating Light Pollution into Cumulative Effects Assessment in Coastal Areas of the Italian Adriatic Sea

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

D. Depellegrin (1) , M. Drius (1) , S. Menegon (1),
G. Farella (1) , L. Zaggia (1) , F. Falchi (2) , A. Pugnetti (1) ,
L. Bongiorni (1)

(1) Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council
(ISMAR-CNR), Arsenale – Tesa 104, Castello 2737/F,
30122, Venice, Italy
(2) ISTIL – Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute,
Via Roma, 13, 36016, Thiene, Italy


Artificial light at night (ALAN) from coastal urban areas represents
a direct threat to marine organisms as it can affect their natural
behaviour, migration and reproduction, and it may interfere
with community interactions such as competition or predation.
Despite increasing research activities on assessing ecological
consequences of ALAN, the overall effects of this threat on marine
ecosystems remain largely unknown. Besides, ALAN can interact
with other human stressors contributing to multiple impacts on
marine ecosystems. In order to adequately assess the cumulative
effects of human stressors to marine biota, it is therefore essential
to integrate ALAN into decision support systems including impact
assessment models.

An advanced model for coastal light pollution
assessment, based on expert elicitation and on a spatially detailed
artificial night sky brightness dataset, is presented and tested for
coastal areas of the Italian Adriatic Sea. Effects on marine organisms
(e.g. turtles) are mapped and discussed for their ecological
relevance, importance within multiple environmental impacts, as
well as for their significance for coastal management and planning.


KEYWORDS: light pollution, coastal ecosystems, cumulative impacts, modelling,
Adriatic sea

Italian translation by Lucia Bongiorni

Image source: Wikipedia (Adriatic Sea)