Polarized ecological traps at a mountain creek
A good practice in experiential environmental education
It is well-documented that highly and horizontally polarized light reflected from shiny dark artificial surfaces has adverse effects on positively polarotactic aquatic insects, including all insects, the larvae of which live in water. Such man-made surfaces may act as 'polarized ecological traps' for polarotactic insects, because they are inappropriate for the development of eggs laid by the deceived and attracted aquatic insects. We performed a field experiment on 27 May 2019 at a mountain creek and its anthropogenic environment to study this phenomenon. Our studies were carried out by Hungarian university students in a senior level biology teacher class. The methods and results can also be used in high and secondary schools. Our aim was to introduce students to the visual ecology of water insects, and help them to apply their knowledge the practice of environmental education.
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