Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect of low frequency electromagnetic field on the behavior and bioenergetics of the polychaete Hediste diversicolor. med./bio.

Published in: Mar Environ Res 2019; 150: 104766

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of the common ragworm (Hediste diversicolor) to a 50 Hz magnetic field on the behavior and metabolism should be investigated.

Background/further details

The magnetic flux density used in this study (1 mT) is typically recorded near submarine cables.
One of two different experimental setups was used for each of the different experiments: Setup A consisted of two aquariums; one with coils for the exposure group and one without for the control group. Setup B consisted of a large aquarium with one half placed inside coils and the other half outside. The following experiments were performed: attraction/avoidance behaviour (setup B, 20 animals placed in the exposure and control area, respectively), sediment reworking activity (setup A, 8 animals for exposure and control group, respectively), metabolism experiments (setup A, 15 animals for exposure and control group, respectively). Each experiment was repeated two to three times with independent replicates.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 8 days

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration 8 days
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber two types of aquaria were used: type A - two aquaria of the same size (V=25 l, 30×30×28 cm) for separate exposure and control group tests, and type B - single aquarium (V=29 l, 15×70×25 cm) with one half placed inside the coils and the other half outside
Setup two identical Helmholtz coils arranged parallel to each other; MF produced by the generator was uniform for almost the entire volume of exposure aquarium type A and for half of the volume of aquarium type B
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 mT - measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

No avoidance or attraction behavior to the magnetic field exposure could be found, but the sediment reworking activity was significantly enhanced in the exposure group compared to the control group, indicating a stimulating effect on bioturbation potential. In metabolism experiments, food consumption, food absorption efficiency, oxygen consumption rate and energy levels were not affected by magnetic field exposure, but ammonia excretion rate was significantly reduced in exposed animals exposed compared to the control group.
The authors conclude that exposure of the common ragworm (Hediste diversicolor) to a 50 Hz magnetic field might have effects on behavior and metabolism with unclear significance for the environment.

Study character:

Study funded by

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