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The observation that the wind-exposed true-bug populations in the Entlebuch are significantly disturbed could be related to radionuclides emitted by the Swiss nuclear-power plants Beznau, Gösgen and Leibstadt, as well as the PSI all located ca. 50 - 80 km to the north. Thus, radioactive material could be transported in aerosols by means of the north wind, which the Swiss call ‘Bise’, into the valley and deposited via rainfall and/or fog. Although the level of radioactivity in the more wind-exposed places might only be slightly higher than in the more protected areas, differential long-term accumulation of tritium (3H) and other radionuclides in the host plants of true bugs could explain the above results.

Image:

Soft bug from Schüpfheim, Entlebuch, Color Sketch, Flühli 2011.
Ventral: abdomen left side disturbed

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Soft Bug from Schüpfheim, Entlebuch, Switzerland