Background: The preponderant use of wireless telecommunication in the twenty-first century has enabled ease and efficient communication and a pervasive occurrence of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that has significantly impacted the ecosystem. This study looks at the effect of radiations from wireless telecommunication EMF on the distribution, diversity and abundance of some insects in Nigeria. The study was undertaken in Ilorin, Kwara State, which is located in the Guinea Savannah belt of Nigeria. The chosen choice of study area was one with a telecommunication mast devoid of residential and human interference within a 10 km radius. Five sampling stations were selected around the mast and a control station. EMR intensity levels and pollinating insect number were monitored daily for 22 weeks using an acoustimeter and malaise traps. Collected insects were identified morphologically using appropriate keys.
Results: The mean electromagnetic radiation (EMR) intensity was significantly (P < 0.05) highest (1.58 ± 1.52 V/m) at sampling station B, and there was an increase in EMR intensity as the radius reduced around the mast. A total of 1878 insects were recovered from the study with the dominant species in terms of abundance of insects collected from the study being Musca domestica (0.39) followed by Apis mellifera (0.31) and Locusta migratoria (0.30), while the least dominant species Tetramorium caespitum (0.23).
Conclusions: Indeed, EMR intensity has an effect on the distribution, diversity and abundance of insects and there is a need to reduce the number of masts in use in the environment by encouraging telecommunication service providers to jointly use the same mast in an area for broadcast.
EMF | EMR intensity | Insects | Nigeria