Current ionising radiation doses in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone do not directly impact on soil biological activity

Beresford, NA ORCID:, Wood, M ORCID:, Gashchak, S and Barnett, CL 2022, 'Current ionising radiation doses in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone do not directly impact on soil biological activity' , PLOS ONE, 17 (2) , e0263600.

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Although soil organisms are essential for ecosystem function, the impacts of radiation on soil biological activity at highly contaminated sites has been relatively poorly studied. In April-May 2016, we conducted the first largescale deployment of bait lamina to estimate soil organism (largely soil invertebrate) feeding activity in situ at study plots in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ). Across our 53 study plots, estimated weighted absorbed dose rates to soil organisms ranged from 0.7 μGy h-1 to 1753 μGy h-1. There was no significant relationship between soil organism feeding activity and estimated weighted absorbed dose rate. Soil biological activity did show significant relationships with soil moisture content, bulk density (used as a proxy for soil organic matter) and pH. At plots in the Red Forest (an area of coniferous plantation where trees died because of high radiation exposure in 1986) soil biological activity was low compared to plots elsewhere in the CEZ. It is possible that the lower biological activity observed in the Red Forest is a residual consequence of what was in effect an acute high exposure to radiation in 1986.

Item Type: Article
Contributors: Wall, NA (Editor)
Additional Information: ** From PLOS via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: **Journal IDs: eissn 1932-6203 **Article IDs: publisher-id: pone-d-21-24695 **History: published_online 23-02-2022; accepted 22-01-2022; collection 2022; submitted 30-07-2021
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: PLOS ONE
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Related URLs:
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Radioactive Waste Management Ltd
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2022 10:49
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 14:18

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