Predicting the transfer of radiocaesium from organic soils to plants using soil characteristics

Absalom, J.P.; Young, S.D.; Crout, N.M.J.; Sanchez, A.; Wright, S.M.; Smolders, E.; Nisbet, A.F.; Gillett, A.G.. 2001 Predicting the transfer of radiocaesium from organic soils to plants using soil characteristics. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 52 (1). 31-43.

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A model predicting plant uptake of radiocaesium based on soil characteristics is described. Three soil parameters required to determine radiocaesium bioavailability in soils are estimated in the model: the labile caesium distribution coefficient (kdl), K+ concentration in the soil solution [mK] and the soil solution→plant radiocaesium concentration factor (CF, Bq kg−1 plant/Bq dm−3). These were determined as functions of soil clay content, exchangeable K+ status, pH, NH+4 concentration and organic matter content. The effect of time on radiocaesium fixation was described using a previously published double exponential equation, modified for the effect of soil organic matter as a non-fixing adsorbent. The model was parameterised using radiocaesium uptake data from two pot trials conducted separately using ryegrass (Lolium perenne) on mineral soils and bent grass (Agrostis capillaris) on organic soils. This resulted in a significant fit to the observed transfer factor (TF, Bq kg−1 plant/Bq kg−1 whole soil) (P<0.001, n=58) and soil solution K+ concentration (mK, mol dm−3) (P<0.001, n=58). Without further parameterisation the model was tested against independent radiocaesium uptake data for barley (n=71) using a database of published and unpublished information covering contamination time periods of 1.2–10 years (transfer factors ranged from 0.001 to 0.1). The model accounted for 52% (n=71, P<0.001) of the observed variation in log transfer factor.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0265-931X
Additional Keywords: radioecology, radiocaesium, plant uptake, soil, model
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 14 Feb 2013 15:57 +0 (UTC)

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