SREL Reprint #2597




Frequency distributions of 137Cs in fish and mammal populations

Taras K. Oleksyk1,2, Sergiy P. Gashchak3, Travis C. Glenn1, Charles H. Jagoe1,2, John D. Peles4,
James R. Purdue5, Olga V. Tsyusko1,2, Olexandr O. Zalissky6, and Michael H. Smith1,2

1Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, The University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA
2Institute of Ecology, The University of Gerogia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3International Radioecology Laboratory, Slavutych 07100, Ukraine
4Pennsylvania State University - McKeesport, 4000 University Drive, McKeesport, PA 15132, USA
5Illinois State Museum, 1011 East Ash Street, Springfield, IL 62703, USA
6Chornobyl Scientific and Technical Center for International Research, Chornobyl 07270, Ukraine

Abstract: We collected fish and mammals in several radioactively contaminated locations in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone and analyzed them for 137Cs content. Frequency distributions were built for populations of channel catfish, yellow-necked mice and bank voles. We combined our data with similar data from several other studies to demonstrate the relationship between the standard deviations and means of 137Cs of fish and mammals populations. The frequency distributions of 137Cs in populations of fish and mammals are not normal, as indicated by the strong relationship between standard deviaiton and mean. Distributions for mammals are more skewed than those for fish. Fish and mammals probably use their environments in fundamentally different ways. The highest concentrations and thus greatest risks are therefore confined to relatively few individulas in each population.

Keywords: Radiocesium; 137Cs; Radioactivity; Frequency distribution; Fish; Mammals; Chernobyl; Chornobyl; Savannah River Site

SREL Reprint #2597

Oleksyk, T. K., S. P. Gashchak, T. C. Glenn, C. H. Jagoe, J. D. Peles, J. R. Purdue, O. V. Tsyusko, O. O. Zalissky, and M. H. Smith. 2002. Frequency distributions of 137Cs in fish and mammal populations. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 61:55-74.

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