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Light pollution could cause problems for coral reefs

People know that coral reefs are threatened by rising temperatures and acidifying water. But might artificial lights be causing problems, too?

Certainly they’re known to affect animals, often in problematic ways: confusing hatchling sea turtles, disorienting migrating birds, disrupting the circadian rhythms of nocturnal mammals, and so on. Yet when it comes to corals, the impact of light pollution “remains largely unexplored,” write researchers in the journal Global Change Biology, despite the potential for disruption to processes “on which corals depend for their reproduction and survival.”