The natural light cycle has profound effects on animals' cognitive systems. Its alteration owing to human activities, such as artificial light at night (ALAN), affects the biodiversity of mammalian and avian species by impairing their cognitive functions. The impact of ALAN on cognition, however, has not been investigated in aquatic species, in spite of the common occurrence of this pollution along water bodies. We exposed eggs of a teleost fish (the zebrafish Danio rerio) to ALAN and, upon hatching, we measured larvae' cognitive abilities with a habituation learning paradigm. Both control and ALAN-exposed larvae showed habituation learning, but the latter learned significantly slower, suggesting that under ALAN conditions, fish require many more events to acquire ecologically relevant information. We also found that individuals' learning performance significantly covaried with two behavioural traits in the control zebrafish, but ALAN disrupted one of these relationships. Additionally, ALAN resulted in an average increase in larval activity. Our results showed that both fish's cognitive abilities and related individual differences are negatively impacted by light pollution, even after a short exposure in the embryonic stage.

Embryonic exposure to artificial light at night impairs learning abilities and their covariance with behavioural traits in teleost fish

Lucon-Xiccato, Tyrone
Primo
;
De Russi, Gaia
Secondo
;
Bertolucci, Cristiano
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

The natural light cycle has profound effects on animals' cognitive systems. Its alteration owing to human activities, such as artificial light at night (ALAN), affects the biodiversity of mammalian and avian species by impairing their cognitive functions. The impact of ALAN on cognition, however, has not been investigated in aquatic species, in spite of the common occurrence of this pollution along water bodies. We exposed eggs of a teleost fish (the zebrafish Danio rerio) to ALAN and, upon hatching, we measured larvae' cognitive abilities with a habituation learning paradigm. Both control and ALAN-exposed larvae showed habituation learning, but the latter learned significantly slower, suggesting that under ALAN conditions, fish require many more events to acquire ecologically relevant information. We also found that individuals' learning performance significantly covaried with two behavioural traits in the control zebrafish, but ALAN disrupted one of these relationships. Additionally, ALAN resulted in an average increase in larval activity. Our results showed that both fish's cognitive abilities and related individual differences are negatively impacted by light pollution, even after a short exposure in the embryonic stage.
2023
Lucon-Xiccato, Tyrone; De Russi, Gaia; Cannicci, Stefano; Maggi, Elena; Bertolucci, Cristiano
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
lucon-xiccato-et-al-2023-embryonic-exposure-to-artificial-light-at-night-impairs-learning-abilities-and-their.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: versione editoriale
Tipologia: Full text (versione editoriale)
Licenza: Copyright dell'editore
Dimensione 473.1 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
473.1 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Lucon-Xiccato et al. - ACCEPTED.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: versione post print
Tipologia: Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.09 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.09 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in SFERA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2533891
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact