Transfer parameter values in temperate forest ecosystems: a review

Philippe Calmon, Yves Thiry, Gregor Zibold, Aino Rantavaara, Sergei Fesenko, Hildegarde Vandenhove

    Research outputpeer-review


    Compared to agricultural lands, forests are complex ecosystems as they can involve diverse plant species associations, several vegetative strata (overstorey, shrubs, herbaceous and other annual plant layer) and multi-layered soil profiles (forest floor, hemi-organic and mineral layers). A high degree of variability is thus generally observed in radionuclide transfers and redistribution patterns in contaminated forests. In the long term, the soil compartment represents the major reservoir of radionuclides which can give rise to long-term plant and hence food contamination. For practical reasons, the contamination of various specific forest products has commonly been quantified using the aggregated transfer factor (Tag in m2 kg1) which integrates various environmental parameters including soil and plant type, root distribution as well as nature and vertical distribution of the deposits. Long lasting availability of some radionuclides was shown to be the source of much higher transfer in forest ecosystems than in agricultural lands. This study aimed at reviewing the most relevant quantitative information on radionuclide transfers to forest biota including trees, understorey vegetation, mushrooms, berries and game animals. For both radiocaesium and radiostrontium in trees, the order of magnitude of mean Tag values was 103 m2 kg1 (dry weight).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)757-766
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 2009

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