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Influence of light intensity and spectral composition of artificial light at night on melatonin rhythm and mRNA expression of gonadotropins in roach Rutilus rutilus

Abstract

In this study we investigated the influence of artificial light at night (ALAN) of different intensities (0, 1, 10, 100 lx) and different colours (blue, green, red) on the daily melatonin rhythm and mRNA expression of gonadotropins in roach Rutilus rutilus, a ubiquitous cyprinid, which occur in standing and moderately flowing freshwater habitats of central Europe. Melatonin concentrations were significantly lowered under nocturnal white light already at 1 lx. Low intensity blue, green and red ALAN lowered the melatonin levels significantly in comparison to a dark control. We conclude that ALAN can disturb melatonin rhythms in roach at very low intensities and at different wavelengths and thus light pollution in urban waters has the potential to impact biological rhythms in fish. However, mRNA expression of gonadotropins was not affected by ALAN during the period of the experiments. Thus, suspected implications of ALAN on reproduction of roach could not be substantiated.

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Acknowledgements

The authors like to thank Matthias Kunow and students at Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries for technical support. Funding was provided by the “Verlust der Nacht” project (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, BMBF-033L038A).

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Correspondence to Anika Brüning.

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Brüning, A., Hölker, F., Franke, S. et al. Influence of light intensity and spectral composition of artificial light at night on melatonin rhythm and mRNA expression of gonadotropins in roach Rutilus rutilus . Fish Physiol Biochem 44, 1–12 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-017-0408-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-017-0408-6

Keywords

  • Light pollution
  • Fish
  • Reproduction
  • Biological rhythms
  • Light colour
  • Light intensity