These fish eggs aren't hatching. The culprit? Light pollution.
When exposed to artificial light at night, charismatic clownfish try to breed—but no eggs hatch.
Bright orange clownfish, of Finding Nemo fame, face a slew of problems in the wild, from overharvesting for home aquaria, to bleaching of their coral and anemone homes by climate change-induced warming waters. And now there’s a third prong on this deadly trident: light pollution.
Published today in Biology Letters, a new study reveals that clownfish, which are dependent on coral reefs, can’t raise any young when exposed to artificial light.
The human-made light that is spewed over Earth endangers animals across ecosystems. Nighttime lights alter birds’ nocturnal migrations. Plants bloom earlier. Sea turtles avoid nesting on brightly-lit beaches. Songbirds start warbling earlier.
“But we don’t think about underwater marine systems being potentially impacted,” says Emily Fobert,