[ RadSafe ] Article on Chernobyl

garyi at trinityphysics.com garyi at trinityphysics.com
Mon Mar 30 16:06:13 CDT 2009

Here is one not-whimsical thought.  I would be interested to know if there was any 
comparison to pre-1986 insect population distribution.  Failing that, it might be helpful to 
compare to other developed areas, nuclear and non-nuclear.  The paper ought to address 
these issues.

-Gary Isenhower

On 30 Mar 2009 at 19:12, Peter Bossew wrote:

Date sent:      	Mon, 30 Mar 2009 19:12:29 +0200
Subject:        	Re: [ RadSafe ] Article on Chernobyl
To:             	"Conklin, Al  (DOH)" <Al.Conklin at doh.wa.gov>
From:           	"Peter Bossew" <Peter.Bossew at reflex.at>
Copies to:      	radsafe at radlab.nl

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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
      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 assumed.

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 Chernobyl Biol. Lett. 2007 3, 483-486 doi:

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
>You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
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