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Novel approaches to studying the relationship between radiation and faunal biodiversity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Wood, M.D.; Beresford, N.; Gaschak, S.; Kendrick, P.; Fisher, J.; Barçante, L.; Guillén, J.; Barnett, C.; Welch, S.. 2017 Novel approaches to studying the relationship between radiation and faunal biodiversity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. In: 4th International Conference on Radioecology & Environmental Radioactivity (ICRER), Berlin, Germany, 3-8 Sept 2017. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

When working in the radiologically contaminated environments that present ideal natural laboratories for studying radiation effects on wildlife, such as the Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones, it is necessary to monitor dose rates in the areas where observations are undertaken. A priori assumptions coupled with an awareness of the dose rates in the area being observed may lead to unconscious observer bias. Laboratory analyses are often ‘blind’ to avoid the potential for unconscious bias, but, when working in radioactively contaminated environments, a ‘blind’ approach is not feasible. To overcome this problem, we have developed novel methods for studying faunal biodiversity within radioactively contaminated ecosystems. Data are captured in a manner that significantly reduces ‘observer bias’ and are independently verifiable. In this presentation we introduce the novel radioecological study approaches that we have developed, report on their application in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) and discuss our findings.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
CEH Sections: Shore
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 26 Sep 2017 13:19 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517916

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