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Pollination by nocturnal Lepidoptera, and the effects of light pollution: A review

Macgregor, Callum J.; Pocock, Michael J. O.; Fox, Richard; Evans, Darren M.


Callum J. Macgregor

Michael J. O. Pocock

Richard Fox

Darren M. Evans


1. Moths (Lepidoptera) are the major nocturnal pollinators of flowers. However, their importance and contribution to the provision of pollination ecosystem services may have been under-appreciated. Evidence was identified that moths are important pollinators of a diverse range of plant species in diverse ecosystems across the world. 2. Moth populations are known to be undergoing significant declines in several European countries. Among the potential drivers of this decline is increasing light pollution. The known and possible effects of artificial night lighting upon moths were reviewed, and suggest how artificial night lighting might in turn affect the provision of pollination by moths. The need for studies of the effects of artificial night lighting upon whole communities of moths was highlighted. 3. An ecological network approach is one valuable method to consider the effects of artificial night lighting upon the provision of pollination by moths, as it provides useful insights into ecosystem functioning and stability, and may help elucidate the indirect effects of artificial light upon communities of moths and the plants they pollinate. 4. It was concluded that nocturnal pollination is an ecosystem process that may potentially be disrupted by increasing light pollution, although the nature of this disruption remains to be tested.


Macgregor, C. J., Pocock, M. J. O., Fox, R., & Evans, D. M. (2015). Pollination by nocturnal Lepidoptera, and the effects of light pollution: A review. Ecological entomology, 40(3), 187-198.

Acceptance Date Oct 19, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 13, 2014
Publication Date 2015-06
Deposit Date Dec 23, 2014
Publicly Available Date Dec 23, 2014
Journal Ecological entomology
Electronic ISSN 1365-2311
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 3
Pages 187-198
Keywords Agro-ecosystems; Artificial night lighting; Ecological networks; Ecosystem services; Flowering plants; Food-webs; Moths; Population declines
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article published in Ecological entomology, Dec. 2014 at


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Copyright Statement
© 2014 The Authors. Ecological Entomology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Entomological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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