Corals nitrogen and carbon isotopic signatures alters under Artificial Light at Night (ALAN)

Inbal Ayalon, Dror Avisar, Andreas Jechow, Oren Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the impact of Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) on two coral species, Acropora eurystoma and Pocillopora damicornis, in the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat Red Sea, assessing their natural isotopic responses to highlight changes in energy and nutrient sourcing due to sensory light pollution. Our findings indicate significant disturbances in photosynthetic processes in Acropora eurystoma, as evidenced by shifts in δ13C values under ALAN, pointing to alterations in carbon distribution or utilization. In Pocillopora damicornis, similar trends were observed, with changes in δ13C and δ15N values suggesting a disruption in its nitrogen cycle and feeding strategies. The study also uncovers species-specific variations in heterotrophic feeding, a crucial factor in coral resilience under environmental stress, contributing to the corals' fixed carbon budget. Light measurements across the Gulf demonstrated a gradient of light pollution which possess the potential of affecting marine biology in the region. ALAN was found to disrupt natural diurnal tentacle behaviors in both coral species, crucial for prey capture and nutrient acquisition, thereby impacting their isotopic composition and health. Echoing previous research, our study underscores the need to consider each species' ecological and physiological contexts when assessing the impacts of anthropogenic changes. The findings offer important insights into the complexities of marine ecosystems under environmental stress and highlight the urgency of developing effective mitigation strategies.
Original languageAmerican English
Article number170513
Pages (from-to)170513
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 2024


FundersFunder number
Israel Nature and Parks Authority in Eilat
Levy Lab for Molecular Marine Ecology
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat
Tel Aviv University


    • Coral reef
    • Light pollution
    • Artificial Light at Night (ALAN)
    • Stable isotopes
    • Symbiotic algae
    • Coral host


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