The Saguaro Cactus, which is found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert, has beautiful white flowers near the tops of the stems and arms. They are white in color and about 3 inches (8cm) in diameter.
These flowers have a very short timeframe in which to be pollinated. This is because they bloom less than a day…at least they used to.
Opening after dark, Saguaro flowers rely on bats for nighttime pollination. During the day, the flowers are pollinated by bees and birds. After pollination, the flower matures into a bright red fruit, a source of food and moisture for desert animals.
It seems there’s been a change in the cycle…in certain geographic locations, there are no longer any bats to pollinate the flowers at night. Their environment has been disrupted.
Researchers at Aberdeen University have observed for some time that bat activity is reduced in the vicinity of the Aberdeen civil Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar station despite the proximity of habitat types where bat activity would be expected. This raised the possibility that the radio frequency (RF) radiation associated with radar installations may elicit an aversive behavioural response in foraging bats.
There are numerous facilities throughout the Sonoran Desert, including military and civilian airports, and university research sites with equipment that would disrupt bat habitats.
In evolutionary response, the flowers remain open longer during the day, to maximize the opportunity for pollination by birds and bees, offsetting the loss of the bats.
An interesting example of how EMFs affect evolution.