Risk to pollinators from anthropogenic electro-magnetic radiation (EMR): Evidence and knowledge gaps

Published in Science of The Total Environment5.59
· DOI :10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133833
Adam J. Vanbergen28
Estimated H-index: 28
(INRA: Institut national de la recherche agronomique),
Simon G. Potts58
Estimated H-index: 58
(University of Reading)
+ -3 AuthorsThomas Tscheulin17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of the Aegean)
Abstract Worldwide urbanisation and use of mobile and wireless technologies (5G, Internet of Things) is leading to the proliferation of anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and campaigning voices continue to call for the risk to human health and wildlife to be recognised. Pollinators provide many benefits to nature and humankind, but face multiple anthropogenic threats. Here, we assess whether artificial light at night (ALAN) and anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (AREMR), such as used in wireless technologies (4G, 5G) or emitted from power lines, represent an additional and growing threat to pollinators. A lack of high quality scientific studies means that knowledge of the risk to pollinators from anthropogenic EMR is either inconclusive, unresolved, or only partly established. A handful of studies provide evidence that ALAN can alter pollinator communities, pollination and fruit set. Laboratory experiments provide some, albeit variable, evidence that the honey bee Apis mellifera and other invertebrates can detect EMR, potentially using it for orientation or navigation, but they do not provide evidence that AREMR affects insect behaviour in ecosystems. Scientifically robust evidence of AREMR impacts on abundance or diversity of pollinators (or other invertebrates) are limited to a single study reporting positive and negative effects depending on the pollinator group and geographical location. Therefore, whether anthropogenic EMR (ALAN or AREMR) poses a significant threat to insect pollinators and the benefits they provide to ecosystems and humanity remains to be established.
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Allan D. Watt34
Estimated H-index: 34
Allan D. Watt + 23 AuthorsEeva Furman10
Estimated H-index: 10
(SYKE: Finnish Environment Institute)
The aim of EKLIPSE is to develop a mechanism to inform European-scale policy on biodiversity and related environmental challenges. This paper considers two fundamental aspects of the decision-support mechanism being developed by EKLIPSE: 1) the engagement of relevant actors from science, policy and society to jointly identify evidence for decision making; and 2) the networking of scientists and other holders of knowledge on biodiversity and other relevant evidence. The mechanism being developed ...
Published on Apr 1, 2019in Biological Conservation4.45
Francisco Sánchez-Bayo25
Estimated H-index: 25
(USYD: University of Sydney),
Kris A. G. Wyckhuys21
Estimated H-index: 21
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Kris Wyckhuys (UQ: University of Queensland)
Abstract Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Here, we present a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers. Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world's insect species over the next few decades. In terrestrial ecosystems, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and dung beetles (Coleoptera) appear to be the taxa most affected, whereas four major aquatic ...
Published in Science of The Total Environment5.59
Richard Odemer3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Hohenheim),
Franziska Odemer1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Hohenheim)
Abstract Mobile phones can be found almost everywhere across the globe, upholding a direct point-to-point connection between the device and the broadcast tower. The emission of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) puts the surrounding environment inevitably into contact with this radiation. We have therefore exposed honey bee queen larvae to the radiation of a common mobile phone device (GSM band at 900 MHz) during all stages of their pre-adult development including pupation. After 14 ...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Scientific Reports4.01
S. Shepherd1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Southampton),
M. A. P. Lima1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UFV: Universidade Federal de Viçosa)
+ 3 AuthorsPhilip L. Newland17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Southampton)
Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF) pollution from overhead powerlines is known to cause biological effects across many phyla, but these effects are poorly understood. Honey bees are important pollinators across the globe and due to their foraging flights are exposed to relatively high levels of ELF EMF in proximity to powerlines. Here we ask how acute exposure to 50 Hz ELF EMFs at levels ranging from 20–100 µT, found at ground level below powerline conductors, to 1000–7000 µ...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in The Lancet Planetary Health
Priyanka Bandara , David O. Carpenter52
Estimated H-index: 52
(University at Albany, SUNY)
Published on Oct 11, 2018in Sustainability2.59
Yousaf Bin Zikria5
Estimated H-index: 5
Sung Kim1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 2 AuthorsMubashir Husain Rehmani19
Estimated H-index: 19
Published on Oct 1, 2018in Bioelectromagnetics1.95
Leonardo Makinistian1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council),
David J. Muehsam6
Estimated H-index: 6
+ 1 AuthorsIgor Belyaev25
Estimated H-index: 25
Published on Sep 1, 2018in Annals of Applied Biology1.61
M. Grubisic2
Estimated H-index: 2
(FU: Free University of Berlin),
R.H.A. van Grunsven1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Butterfly Conservation)
+ 2 AuthorsFranz Hölker32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Leibniz Association)
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Environmental Research5.03
Cindy L. Russell1
Estimated H-index: 1
Abstract The popularity, widespread use and increasing dependency on wireless technologies has spawned a telecommunications industrial revolution with increasing public exposure to broader and higher frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit data through a variety of devices and infrastructure. On the horizon, a new generation of even shorter high frequency 5G wavelengths is being proposed to power the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT promises us convenient and easy lifestyles wit...
Published on Jan 1, 2018in Trends in Ecology and Evolution15.24
William J. Sutherland80
Estimated H-index: 80
(University of Cambridge),
Stuart H. M. Butchart50
Estimated H-index: 50
(University of Cambridge)
+ 21 AuthorsDavid W. Gibbons23
Estimated H-index: 23
(RSPB: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
This is our ninth annual horizon scan to identify emerging issues that we believe could affect global biological diversity, natural capital and ecosystem services, and conservation efforts. Our diverse and international team, with expertise in horizon scanning, science communication, as well as conservation science, practice, and policy, reviewed 117 potential issues. We identified the 15 that may have the greatest positive or negative effects but are not yet well recognised by the global conser...
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