Academic research in Oxfordshire has found that moths normally found to be pollinating plants are being distracted by streetlights. The recent study discovered that along with the decline in bees and butterflies, it is having a serious effect on struggling plant numbers.
The Natural Environment Research Council funded the research in an attempt to understand what impact man-made light has on plants, which rely on insects, such as moths, to pollinate. Dr. Darren Evans of Newcastle University remarked, “Our research shows that light pollution significantly alters moth activity and this in turn is disrupting their role as pollinators…the impact could be significant.”
Statistics gathered from the study showed that when streetlights were turned on the number of insects gathering at height- i.e. attracted to the light – doubled. New research to be conducted by the researchers will aim to investigate whether LED lights will have any effect on attracting insects, thus battling the reduction in plant pollination.