Is Chernobyl radiation really causing negative individual and population-level effects on barn swallows?

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    Abstract

    Møller and co-workers (Møller et al. 2007) observe an ‘elevated frequency of abnormalities in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) at Chernobyl’ and ‘can think of no alternative explanations other than exposure to radiation that can have caused the observed patterns’. However, an obvious alternative hypothesis (e.g. Pikulik & Plenin 1994) is that apparent impacts on birds may be due to ecosystem changes resulting from the abandonment of contaminated land. In this and previous papers, Møller and co-workers downplay key limitations, namely: (i) probable confounding due to land use changes in the abandoned areas since the accident, and (ii) weak dosimetry and inappropriate grouping of ‘Chernobyl’ study sites...
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-64
    Number of pages2
    JournalBiology Letters
    Volume4
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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