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    The aim of the present work was to study radioactive caesium in soil and plants from birch forests subject to different chemical climate. Four areas and three types of precipitation regimes were considered, representing a natural climatic range found in Norway: (A) acidic precipitation (southernmost part of the country); (B) precipitation rich in "sea salts"/marine cations (coastal areas); and (C) + (D) low concentrations of sea salts (inland areas). The results showed significant regional differences in plant uptake between the investigated areas. For instance the aggregated soil-to-plant transfer coefficients (Tag) were generally up to 7-8 times higher for the area receiving acid rain. Differences in caesium speciation partly explained the regional variability - e.g. the exchangeable fraction ranged from 1 to 40% (with the largest fraction of exchangeable caesium found in southernmost Norway). Transfer coefficients estimated on the basis of exchangeable fractions showed no significant differences between the areas of highest (A) and lowest (C) Tags. However, exchangeable fractions taken into consideration, the uptake of (137)Cs in plants in the acid rain-influenced area is still about twice that in the sea salt influenced area B. A significantly lower concentration of soluble base cations and a higher share of acid components in soils in area A is a likely explanation for this observation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    H Thørring, L Skuterud, E Steinnes. Distribution and turnover of (137)Cs in birch forest ecosystems: influence of precipitation chemistry. Journal of environmental radioactivity. 2012 Aug;110:69-77

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    PMID: 22388272

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