Meeting Abstract

102-2  Saturday, Jan. 6 13:45 - 14:00  When the Lights Go Up in the City: Artificial Light at Night Impacts Reproduction in Brown Anoles (Anolis sagrei) THAWLEY, CJ*; KOLBE, JJ; University of Rhode Island; University of Rhode Island

Anthropogenic changes including accelerating urbanization have important costs and consequences for affected organisms. As human-impacted environments increase, artificial light at night (ALAN), an evolutionarily-novel stressor, affects many species worldwide. A growing body of research shows that ALAN can impact physiological functions, survival, and reproduction of diverse taxa, yet we lack a strong understanding of how this form of global change affects reptiles. Anoles are adapted to specific photic environments and some species, including the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), thrive in cities where ALAN is prevalent. Previous research shows that photoperiod may drive onset of reproduction in brown anoles and that lighting alters nocturnal activity in anoles, suggesting that ALAN could impact reproduction in this species and serve as a novel stressor. We captured brown anoles at the beginning of the breeding season from remnant forest habitat in the Miami metropolitan area and exposed them to natural light cycles or artificial light at night in the lab. Exposure to ALAN increased growth and caused female anoles to begin egg-laying at earlier dates. ALAN did not impact number of eggs produced or size and viability of eggs or offspring, but did affect reproductive investment by smaller females and altered stress levels in anoles. As the human populations grows and urban areas expand, artificial lighting is likely to impact many organismal traits, including reproduction, in a variety of organisms.