Effects of gamma irradiation on Holcus lanatus (Yorkshire fog grass) and associated soil microorganisms

Jones, Helen E.; West, Helen M.; Chamberlain, Paul M.; Parekh, Nisha R.; Beresford, Nick A.; Crout, Neil H.J.. 2004 Effects of gamma irradiation on Holcus lanatus (Yorkshire fog grass) and associated soil microorganisms. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 74 (1-3). 57-71.

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An investigation was conducted to determine the impact of acute doses of gamma radiation on the microbial community structure of a Holcus lanatus dominated grassland soil. Mesocosms containing soil and established grass were irradiated using a sealed 137Cs source (7.0 Gy min–1). Doses ranged from 5 to 160 Gy, analyses were conducted on the day of irradiation, then 7 and 30 days later. Plant growth and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonisation of roots were reduced by irradiation. Gram-negative bacteria, and microbial metabolic capacity were also negatively affected by treatment. Microbial biomass measured by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, showed an increase at doses above 20 Gy, 7 and 30 days after treatment. Proportions of Gram-positive bacterial and fungal PLFAs fluctuated inversely to each other, in response to both sampling time and radiation dose. We hypothesise that many of the observed soil microbial responses are indirect effects mediated by the influence of ionising radiation on the plants in this system.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals > SE01.4 Monitoring and predicting the distribution of chemicals in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
_ Ecological Processes in Freshwater & Soils
ISSN: 0265-931X
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 25 Apr 2012 10:52 +0 (UTC)

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