Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Electromagnetic radiation as an emerging driver factor for the decline of insects.

Abstract

The biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Numerous studies have reported the serious decline in insects that has occurred in recent decades. The same is happening with the important group of pollinators, with an essential utility for pollination of crops. Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and ecosystem services. Many authors point out that reductions in insect abundance must be attributed mainly to agricultural practices and pesticide use. On the other hand, evidence for the effects of non-thermal microwave radiation on insects has been known for at least 50 years. The review carried out in this study shows that electromagnetic radiation should be considered seriously as a complementary driver for the dramatic decline in insects, acting in synergy with agricultural intensification, pesticides, invasive species and climate change. The extent that anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation represents a significant threat to insect pollinators is unresolved and plausible. For these reasons, and taking into account the benefits they provide to nature and humankind, the precautionary principle should be applied before any new deployment (such 5G) is considered.