[ RadSafe ] Article on Chernobyl

Peter Bossew Peter.Bossew at reflex.at
Mon Mar 30 12:12:29 CDT 2009

Here is the abstract:

Reduced abundance of insects and spiders linked to radiation at Chernobyl
20 years after the accident
   1. Anders Pape Møller1,* and
   2. Timothy A Mousseau2  

 1 Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, Université Paris-Sud
      CNRS UMR 8079, Bâtiment 362, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina
      Columbia, SC 29208, USA

   1. Author for correspondence (anders.moller at u-psud.fr)


Effects of low-level radiation on abundance of animals are poorly known.
We conducted standardized point counts and line transects of bumble-bees,
butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies and spider webs at forest sites
around Chernobyl differing in background radiation by over four orders of
magnitude. Abundance of invertebrates decreased with increasing radiation,
even after controlling for factors such as soil type, habitat and height
of vegetation. These effects were stronger when comparing plots differing
in radiation within rather than among sites, implying that the ecological
effects of radiation from Chernobyl on animals are greater than previously

doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0778 

The same authors also published similar findings for birds:

A.P Møller and T.A Mousseau
Species richness and abundance of forest birds in relation to radiation at
Biol. Lett. 2007 3, 483-486
doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0226

A.P Møller, T.A Mousseau, F de Lope and N Saino
Elevated frequency of abnormalities in barn swallows from Chernobyl
Biol. Lett. 2007 3, 414-417
doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0136

J.T Smith
Is Chernobyl radiation really causing negative individual and
population-level effects on barn swallows?
Biol. Lett. 2008 4, 63-64
doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0430

Peter Bossew

"Conklin, Al  (DOH)" <Al.Conklin at doh.wa.gov> writes:
>I noticed an article in the Tacoma Washington paper earlier this week
>describing an article in the journal Biology Letters by Anders Moller of
>the University of Paris-Sud and Timothy Mousseau, describing a
>dramatically lower number of insects and other invertebrates in the area
>around Chernobyl 22 years after the disaster. They also state that "the
>numbers of organisms declined with increasing contamination." 
>This seems contrary to all I've heard and read about the animal
>population thriving in those areas. Does anyone know about this study or
>these two researchers and whether their results are credible or not?
>Al Conklin
>Lead Trainer and Health Physicist
>Radiological Emergency Preparedness Section
>Office of Radiation Protection
>Department of Health
>office: 360-236-3261
>cell: 360-239-1237
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