SREL Reprint #2708

 

 

 

Effect of trophic level on the radiocesium frequency distribution in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at Chornobyl and nuclear sites in the United States

Michael H. Smith1,Taras K. Oleksy2, and Olga Tsyusko-Omeltchenko1

1Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P. O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29803, USA and Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30601, USA
2National Cancer Institute, National institutes of Health, Frederick MD 21702, USA

Abstract: There are significant linear relationships between the standard deviation and the mean of radiocesium concentration for samples of soils, sediments, plants, and animals from Chornobyl and nuclear sites in the United States. The universal occurrence of this relationship in all types of samples suggests that a non-normal frequency distribution should be expected. The slopes of these relationships are similar for fish and mammals from the two regions of the world but those for plants are not. The slopes for plants are similar for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems within each region. We hypothesize that there are relationships between the four moments of the frequency distribution of radiocesium (mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis), and that these relationships are caused by the functional properties of the organisms and other characteristics of the ecosystem. The way in which radiocesium was distributed across the landscape does not seem to be a factor in determining the form of the frequency distribution.

Keywords: Cs-137, frequency distribution

SREL Reprint #2708

Smith, M. H., T. K. Oleksyk, and O. Tsyusko-Omeltchenko. 2003. Effect of trophic level on the radiocesium frequency distribution in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at Chornobyl and nuclear sites in the United States. pp. 37-48 In: Amano, H. and S. Uchida (Eds.). Proceeding of the International Symposium: Transfer of radionuclides in biosphere - Prediction and Assessment, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute Conference 2003-010.

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