Publication details.

Paper

Year:2020
Author(s):M. Czerwiński, Ł. Januszkiewicz, A. Vian, A. Lázaro
Title:The influence of bioactive mobile telephony radiation at the level of a plant community – Possible mechanisms and indicators of the effects
Journal:ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS
ISSN:1470-160X
JCR Impact Factor:4.958
Volume:108
Pages:105683
D.O.I.:10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105683
Web:https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105683
Abstract:© 2019 Elsevier LtdEnvironmental exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) from mobile telephony has rapidly increased in the last two decades and this trend is expected to continue. The effects of this exposure at plant community level are unknown and difficult to assess in a scientifically appropriate manner. Such an assessment can be scientifically adequate if a studied plant community is completely new and control-impact radiation treatment is used. In this review we aimed to predict ecological effects and identify indicators of the impact of bioactive RF-EMFs at the mobile telephony frequency range on plant communities. We considered the scenario where a plant community was exposed to radiation generated by a base transmitting station antenna mounted on a nearby mast. This plant community can be represented by mesic meadow, ruderal or arable weed community, or other herbaceous, moderately productive vegetation type. We concentrated primarily on radiation effects that can be recorded for a year since the exposure started. To predict them we used physical theories of radiowave propagation in vegetation and the knowledge on plants physiological responses to RF-EMF. Our indicators can be used for the detection of the impact of RF-EMFs on vegetation in a control-impact experiment. The identified indicators can be classified into the following groups: (1) canopy parameters; (2) plant characteristics to be measured in the field or laboratory in a number of individuals that represent the populations of selected species; (3) community weighted means/medians (CWMs) of plant traits and strategies; (4) the abundance of other organisms that interact with plants and can influence their fitness or population size. The group of canopy parameters includes mean height, vertical vegetation structure and dry weight of above-ground standing phytomass. Plant characteristics requiring biometric sampling in the field are plant height, the number of fruits and seeds, as well as seed viability. The group of plant traits that are calculated as CWMs covers seed releasing height, seed dispersal mode, SLA, leaf orientation, month of germination and flowering, Ellenberg's light indicator value, and the proportion of individuals in the classes of competitors and stress tolerators according to Grime's CSR strategy scheme. The group of “non-plant” indicators includes primarily the frequency of flower visits by beetles, wasps, hoverflies, and bees that have their nests over ground. To detect ecological responses that occur for the first year since a herbaceous community has been exposed to potentially bioactive RF-EMF, the first two indicators groups should be used.

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