Electromagnetic Radiation: what are the impacts on wildlife (animals and plants)? (open call)  back to the forum

do you know of any assessment, report or study on the impact of EMR on invertebrates, vertebrates or plants?

Member: Estelle BALIAN

Date: 08.02.2017



Following EKLIPSE first call for requests closed on September, 30, 2016, the following request was selected as a potential foresight topic to identify research priorities: What are the impacts of artificial electromagnetic radiation on wildlife? What are the evidence gaps that are the highest priority to address? What policy solutions should be considered?


This request was submitted by Buglife, a UK based charity devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. 

Context: In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EM radiation or EMR) refers to the waves (or their quanta, photons) of the electromagnetic field, propagating (radiating) through space carrying electromagnetic radiant energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-, and gamma radiation. 

Science on the impact of electromagnetic radiation on wildlife is currently scarce and not always reliable. More studies have looked at potential impacts on human health but even there no comprehensive assessment is available. Currently, New technologies have had a tremendous impact on the increase of EMR in our environment both in terms of range of frequencies and volume of transmissions. It seems critical to start exploring what effects these artificial EMR might have on the biological components of the Environment. Ensuring that important ecosystem services such as pollination and pest control are not harmed by EMR and also that we are not causing biodiversity decline or reducing the amenity value of the countryside should now be investigated by science to better inform policy. Better understanding of the impacts on wildlife can also provide insights in the potential effect on human health and even support the development of reliable indicators of risk conditions. 


EKLIPSE is inviting scientists, policy makers, practitioners and other societal actors to share their knowledge on this specific selected request to explore available resources and evaluate if the request requires a structured knowledge gap analysis and consultation on research priorities. 
A literature screening exercise was done prior to the selection of the request and resulted in a compilation of research papers and reports related to the topic. The compilation can be found below in the attached pdf.
We would welcome the following types of information:
  • Published articles on studies related to measuring potential impact of electromagnetic radiation on invertebrates or vertebrates, , including studies demonstrating no impacts.
  • Grey literature / unpublished report compiling results of scientific studies looking at impacts of electromagnetic radiation on any group of invertebrate or any group of vertebrate, including studies demonstrating no impacts.
  • Any existing studies looking at the role of invertebrates or vertebrates as indicators for assessing potential electromagnetic radiation on human health
  • Existing knowledge synthesis of impact of electromagnetic radiation on human health


Please submit references and comments by the 18th of April 2017


Last edited: 23.03.2017 11:28 (GMT) - by Estelle BALIAN

Member: Geert de Snoo

Date: 26.03.2017 08:54 (GMT)

Cucurachi, S., W.L.M. Tamis, M.G. Vijver, W.J.G.M. Peijnenburg, J.F.B. Bolte & G.R. de Snoo, 2013. A review of the ecological effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). Environment International 51: 116-140.

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