RED FIRE: radioactive environment damaged by fire: a forest in recovery

Beresford, Nicholas; Barnett, Catherine; Norton, Lisa; Wells, Claire; Wood, Mike; Entwistle, Neil; Shaw, George; Young, Scott; Kasparov, Valery; Churilov, Andrii; Morozova, Valeriia; Gaschak, Sergii; Salbu, Brit. 2017 RED FIRE: radioactive environment damaged by fire: a forest in recovery. In: ICRP 2017 - 4th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection & ERPW 2017 - 2nd European Radiological Protection Research Week, Paris, 10-12 Oct 2017. (Unpublished)

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Severe and acute radiation from the Chernobyl accident killed coniferous trees in a 4-6 km2 area of forest. This area, now known as the ‹Red Forest›, subsequently regenerated with understorey vegetation and deciduous trees. In July 2016, a fire burnt c.80% of the Red Forest presenting a unique opportunity to study the effect of fire on radionuclide biogeochemistry and the impact of radiation on the recovery of forest ecosystems exposed to a secondary stressor (fire). The objectives of RED FIRE are to: (i) assess the impact of fire on radionuclide behaviour by determining changes in radionuclide mobility in soil; (ii) determine if there is any impact of radiation on the recovery of the forest ecosystem. To achieve these objectives we are using approaches novel to radioecology: bait lamina sticks to measure soil biological activity; aerial drone vegetation and contamination mapping; wildlife camera traps and bioacoustic recorders. RED FIRE is building upon pre-fire baseline measurements collected by the TREE project and collaborating Ukrainian scientists. This gives an opportunity to contrast pre- versus post-fire ecosystem states.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 10 Nov 2017 09:40 +0 (UTC)

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