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Light Pollution Hurts Rainforests

Tropical rainforests aren’t just threatened by loggers looking for timber. Researchers have found that light pollution could be hampering the forests’ ability to regenerate and grow. BBC reports that Carollia sowelli, a type of fruit-eating bat that plays a key role in seed dispersal and plant pollination, may avoid rainforest areas lit with artificial light from nearby buildings and street lamps. The study, published online this week in the Journal of Applied Ecology, says that as light pollution rapidly increases in developing tropical countries and encroaches on natural habitats, light-free refuges need to be considered for light-sensitive species like bats to continue their role in seed dispersal.

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