Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 2, 2013

Dynamics of radionuclides in forest ecosystems

Die Dynamik von Radionukliden im Ökosystem “Wald”
M. Steiner
From the journal Kerntechnik

Abstract

The unique physiology and the layered structure of forest ecosystems result in dynamic transport and transfer processes which greatly differ from those in agricultural ecosystems. Radionuclides are retained in the upper organic horizons of forest soil for several decades and remain highly available for uptake by fungi and green plants. Contamination levels of mushrooms and game may therefore by far exceed those of agricultural produce. The efficient cycling of nutrients and radionuclides, which is characteristic for ecosystems poor in nutrients, can largely be attributed to forest soil with its complex and multi-layered structure and fungal activity. Fungi directly affect dynamic processes, playing a key role in the mobilization, uptake and translocation of nutrients and radionuclides. Fungal fruit bodies may be highly contaminated foodstuff and fodder. They are most likely the cause of the surprising trend of increasing contamination of wild boar which has been observed in the last few years in Germany. This paper is intended to give a qualitative survey of dynamic transport processes in forests and their relevance for radiation exposure to man.

Kurzfassung

Aufgrund der besonderen Lebensvorgänge, Stoffkreisläufe und der geschichteten Struktur von Wäldern unterscheiden sich die dynamischen Transport- und Transferprozesse stark von denen in landwirtschaftlichen Ökosystemen. Radionuklide verweilen mehrere Jahrzehnte in den oberen organischen Auflagehorizonten des Waldbodens und bleiben dort leicht pflanzenverfügbar. Die Kontamination von Pilzen und Wildbret kann daher wesentlich höher sein als in landwirtschaftlichen Erzeugnissen. Der für nährstoffarme Ökosysteme charakteristische Kreislauf von Nährstoffen und Radionukliden wird in besonderem Maß durch den komplexen, vielschichtigen Waldboden und den Einfluss von Pilzen geprägt. Pilze spielen eine Schlüsselrolle bei der Mobilisierung, Aufnahme und Translokation von Nährstoffen und Radionukliden und greifen somit direkt in dynamische Prozesse ein. Die Fruchtkörper von Pilzen können hoch kontaminierte Nahrungsquellen für Mensch und Tier sein. Sie sind sehr wahrscheinlich dafür verantwortlich, dass die Kontamination von Wildschweinen in Deutschland während der letzten Jahre erstaunlicherweise tendenziell zunahm. Dieser Beitrag gibt einen qualitativen Überblick über dynamische Transportprozesse und ihre Bedeutung für die Strahlenexposition des Menschen.

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Received: 2004-11-5
Published Online: 2013-05-02
Published in Print: 2004-11-01

© 2004, Carl Hanser Verlag, München