|SREL Reprint #0332|
Radionuclide Biomagnification in Coastal-Plain Deer
James H. Jenkins and Timothy T. Fendley
Muscle samples have been obtained from over 1000 deer throughout the
Southeast during the past five years and analyzed for radionuclides.
Deer from the Lower Coastal Plain region had consistently higher levels
of 137Cs than deer from the Upper Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Central
Plateau, and Mountain regions. In
the Lower Coastal Plain, deer muscle average 45, 000 pCi/kg of 137Cs,
with some specimens ranging up to over 150,000 pCi/kg.
Animals from the other provinces averaged around 4000 pCi/kg.
We have evidence that 90Sr is effectively transported through
the Lower Coastal Plain environment also. Strontium
values in deer were comparable to the values found in Arctic herbivores, while
the 137Cs values are higher than were found in the Arctic.
Potassium deficiency in vegetation probably increases radionuclide
vegetation is 20 times higher in potassium and has only 1 to 3% as much
radioactive cesium as forest and swampland vegetation.
Bioaccumulation in wildlife may well become a classic example of
radionuclide cycling. Our data
indicate that the sterile, sandy soils of the Lower Coastal Plain in combination
with high water tables and some specific radionuclide-concentrating plants
produce the conditions which result in biomagnification of 137Cs and 90Sr
SREL Reprint #0332
Jenkins, J.H. and T.T. Fendley. 1971. Radionuclide biomagnification in coastal plain deer. p. 116-122. In Third National Symposium on Radioecology, edited by D.J. Nelson. ORNL CONF 710501 P1. Oak Ridge, TN.