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The magnetic orientation of the Antarctic amphipod Gondogeneia is cancelled by weak RF fields
Journal of Experimental Biology 2016 : doi: 10.1242/jeb.132878
The magnetic orientation of the Antarctic amphipod Gondogeneia antarctica is cancelled by very weak radiofrequency fields
K. Tomanova, M. Vacha
Department of Animal Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Kamenice 735/5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.
Studies on weak man-made radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) affecting animal magnetoreception aim for a better understanding of the reception mechanism and also point to a new phenomenon having possible consequences in ecology and environmental protection. RF impacts on magnetic compasses have recently been demonstrated on migratory birds and other vertebrates. We set out to investigate the effect of RF on the magnetic orientation of the Antarctic krill species Gondogeneia antarctica, a small marine crustacean widespread along the Antarctic littoral line. Here, we show that having been released under laboratory conditions, G. antarctica escaped in the magnetically seaward direction along the magnetic sea-land axis (Y-axis) of the home beach. However, the animals were disoriented after being exposed to RF. Orientation was lost not only in an RF of a magnetic flux density of 20 nT, as expected according to the literary data, but even under the 2 nT originally intended as a control. Our results extend recent findings of the extraordinary sensitivity of animal magnetoreception to weak RF fields in marine invertebrates.
Received October 2, 2015.
Accepted March 15, 2016.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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