SREL Reprint #0454




Seasonal Variation in Radiocesium Concentrations in Three Tree Species

Charles T. Garten, Jr. Lind A. Briese, Rebecca R. Sharitz, and J. B. Gentry



Radiocesium concentrations in leaves and stems of black willow (Selix nigra), wax myrtle (Myrice cerifera), and tag alder (Alnus serrulata) trees inhabiting a floodplain contaminated by production-reactor effluent were measured over 1 year.  In willow and myrtle trees, leaf radiocesium levels were highest in the spring and declined during the growing season; stem levels remained relatively unchanged or exhibited a slight increase.  Seasonal changes in alder tree parts depended on the site examined. The relationship among component parts was essentially consistent across species and collecting sites in the summer.  The radiocesium concentrations in order of rank were:  roots > leaves > stems.  Species differences in component-part radiocesium levels were dependent on the part sampled and the collecting site examined.  Mean soil to plant-part concentration factors in summer ranged from 0.9 to 7.6, and species means across leaves, stems, and roots averaged 2.1, 3.8, and 6.2 for alder, willow, and myrtle trees, respectively.


SREL Reprint #0454

Garten, C.T., Jr., L.A. Briese, R.R. Sharitz, and J.B. Gentry. 1975. Seasonal variation in radiocesium concentrations in three tree species. p. 498-508. In Mineral Cycling in Southeastern Ecosystems, edited by F.G. Howell, J.B. Gentry, and M.H. Smith. ERDA Symposium Series. CONF 740513.

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