A Framework to Assess Evolutionary Responses to Anthropogenic Light and Sound

John P. Swaddle, College of William and Mary
Clinton D. Francis, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Jessie R. Barber, Boise State University
Caren B. Cooper, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Christopher CM Kyba, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ and Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Davide M. Dominoni, University of Glasgow
Graeme Shannon, Colorado State University - Fort Collins
Erik Aschehoug, North Carolina State University
Sarah E. Goodwin, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Akito Y. Kawahara, University of Florida
David Luther, George Mason University
Kamiel Spoelstra, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Margaret Voss, Syracuse University
Travis Longcore, University of Southern California


Human activities have caused a near-ubiquitous and evolutionarily-unprecedented increase in environmental sound levels and artificial night lighting. These stimuli reorganize communities by interfering with species-specific perception of time-cues, habitat features, and auditory and visual signals. Rapid evolutionary changes could occur in response to light and noise, given their magnitude, geographical extent, and degree to which they represent unprecedented environmental conditions. We present a framework for investigating anthropogenic light and noise as agents of selection, and as drivers of other evolutionary processes, to influence a range of behavioral and physiological traits such as phenological characters and sensory and signaling systems. In this context, opportunities abound for understanding contemporary and rapid evolution in response to human-caused environmental change.