Potassium fertilisation reduces radiocesium uptake by Japanese cypress seedlings grown in a stand contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
ABSTRACT: We analysed suppressive effects of potassium (K) fertilisation on radiocesium (137Cs) uptake by hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) seedlings from soils contaminated after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Three-year-old seedlings were planted in a clear-cut forest (ca. 4?ha) during June-July 2014, and potassium chloride fertiliser (83?kg?K ha-1) was applied twice (August 2014 and April 2015). 137Cs concentrations in the needles in the fertilised plots were one-eighth of those in the control (unfertilised) plots at the end of the second growing season (October 2015). Our results clearly indicated that K fertilisation reduced radiocesium transfer from soil to planted cypress seedlings. A linear mixed model analysis revealed that 137Cs concentrations in the needles were significantly affected by 137Cs inventory in the soil (Bq m-2) adjacent to the sampled seedlings, exchangeable K concentrations in surface mineral soils (0-5?cm) and fertilisation. The exchangeable K concentrations in surface soils in October 2015 did not differ from those in August 2014 (before fertilisation) in the fertilised plots and in the control plots. These results suggested that the levels of exchangeable K would temporarily increase by fertilisation during the growing season, and radiocesium uptake by tree roots was suppressed.
Project description:To elucidate the temporal changes in the radiocesium distribution in forests contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, we monitored the 137Cs concentration and inventory within forests from 2011 to 2015 across nine plots containing variable tree species and different contamination levels. The 137Cs concentrations in needles and branches decreased exponentially at all coniferous plots, with effective ecological half-lives of 0.45-1.55?yr for needles and 0.83-1.69?yr for branches. By contrast, the 137Cs concentration in deciduous konara oak leaves did not change over the five years. The concentration of 137Cs in oak wood increased by 37-75%, whereas that in Japanese red pine decreased by 63% over the five years. In Japanese cedar and hinoki cypress, the 137Cs concentration in wood showed an increasing trend in half of the plots. The changes in 137Cs in the organic and mineral soil layers were not strongly related to the tree species or contamination level. Our multi-site, multi-species monitoring results revealed that the pattern of temporal changes in radiocesium in the 9 forest plots was similar overall; however, changes in 137Cs in needles/leaves and wood differed among tree species.
Project description:Most manipulation experiments simulating global change in tundra were short-term or did not measure plant growth directly. Here, we assessed the growth of three shrubs (Cassiope tetragona, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Betula nana) at a subarctic heath in Abisko (Northern Sweden) after 22 years of warming (passive greenhouses), fertilisation (nutrients addition) and shading (hessian fabric), and compare this to observations from the first decade of treatment. We assessed the growth rate of current-year leaves and apical stem (primary growth) and cambial growth (secondary growth), and integrated growth rates with morphological measurements and species coverage. Primary- and total growth of Cassiope and Empetrum were unaffected by manipulations, whereas growth was substantially reduced under fertilisation and shading (but not warming) for Betula. Overall, shrub height and length tended to increase under fertilisation and warming, whereas branching increased mostly in shaded Cassiope. Morphological changes were coupled to increased secondary growth under fertilisation. The species coverage showed a remarkable increase in graminoids in fertilised plots. Shrub response to fertilisation was positive in the short-term but changed over time, likely because of an increased competition with graminoids. More erected postures and large, canopies (requiring enhanced secondary growth for stem reinforcement) likely compensated for the increased light competition in Empetrum and Cassiope but did not avoid growth reduction in the shade intolerant Betula. The impact of warming and shading on shrub growth was more conservative. The lack of growth enhancement under warming suggests the absence of long-term acclimation for processes limiting biomass production. The lack of negative effects of shading on Cassiope was linked to morphological changes increasing the photosynthetic surface. Overall, tundra shrubs showed developmental plasticity over the longer term. However, such plasticity was associated clearly with growth rate trends only in fertilised plots.
Project description:Radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident was analyzed via surface soil sampled during a two-month period after the accident. 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs were detected in these soil samples. The activity and inventory of radioactive material in the eastern part of Tokyo tended to be high. The 134Cs/137Cs activity ratio in soil was 0.978 ± 0.053. The 131I/137Cs ratio fluctuated widely, and was 19.7 ± 9.0 (weighted average 18.71 ± 0.13, n = 14) in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The radioactive plume with high 131I activity spread into the Tokyo metropolitan area and was higher than the weighted average of 6.07 ± 0.04 (n = 26) in other areas. The radiocesium activity and inventory surveyed in soil from a garden in Chiyoda Ward in the center of Tokyo, fell approximately 85% in the four months after the accident, and subsequently tended to rise slightly while fluctuating widely. It is possible that migration and redistribution of radiocesium occurred. The behavior of radiocesium in Tokyo was analyzed via monitoring of radiocesium in sludge incineration ash. The radiocesium activity in the incineration ash was high at wastewater treatment centers that had catchment areas in eastern Tokyo and low at those with catchment areas in western Tokyo. Similar to the case of the garden soil, even in incineration ash, the radiocesium activity dropped rapidly immediately after the accident. The radiocesium activity in the incineration ash fell steadily from the tenth month after the accident until December 2016, and its half-life was about 500 days. According to frequency analysis, in central Tokyo, the cycles of fluctuation of radiocesium activity in incineration ash and rainfall conformed, clearly showing that radiocesium deposited in urban areas was resuspended and transported by rainfall run-off.
Project description:To understand radiocesium transfer in the forest insect food web, we investigated the activity concentrations of radiocesium in forest insects in the Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures approximately 1.5-2.5 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. We analyzed 34 species of insects sampled from 4 orders and 4 feeding functional groups (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, and detritivore) from three sites in each prefecture. 137Cs activity concentrations were lowest in herbivorous species and were especially high in detritivorous and omnivorous species that feed on forest litter and fungi. Radiocesium activity concentrations in any given species reflected the degree of contamination of that species' primary food sources since radiocesium activity concentrations were found to be the lowest in leaves and grass and the highest in litter, bark, and fungi. This study confirmed that litter and other highly contaminated forest components such as fungi, decaying wood, bryophytes, and lichens serve as sources of 137Cs transfer into the forest insect community.
Project description:The study assessed changes in the total 16 PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) content of soil which occurred in 1998-2009, during a multi-annual, manure-mineral and mineral fertilisation experiment, carried out in Ba?cyny near Ostróda (Poland), according to a design unchanged since 1986 The study focused on the impact of multi-annual, diversified mineral fertilisation (N, P, K, Mg and Ca) compared to manure applied every two years at a dose of 40 t/ha. The four plants used in the crop rotation included sugar beet, spring barley, maize and spring wheat. The content of the total 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was significantly higher in the manure-fertilised soil than in the soil fertilised with mineral fertilisers only. Under the regular manure fertilisation conditions, liming of the soil significantly increased the total 16 PAH content, and the lowest dose of nitrogen significantly decreased its PAH content. The lowest nitrogen dose had an opposite effect in the soil fertilised with mineral fertilisers only, where it caused a significant increase in the content of the PAHs. However, the increased doses of nitrogen also resulted in an increase in the PAH content in the soil fertilised with manure and without this fertiliser.
Project description:Meat of wild boars is not only known for high 137Cs activity concentrations but also for the remarkable constancy of these levels. Even decades after the Chernobyl accident, the 137Cs levels in wild boar meat in Central Europe have not declined but even partly increased. In the present study, we investigated an unusual hypothesis for this very unusual phenomenon: may the boars' fat tissue act as a reservoir for radiocesium? We investigated fat and muscle tissues of four wild boars in Western Germany and found that the 137Cs concentrations in fat were in the range of 10-30% of the respective activities in muscle tissue. Hence, the hypothesis was refuted.
Project description:We performed gamma-ray analysis to determine the amount of radioactive cesium-134 (134Cs) and cesium-137 (137Cs) in 259 foodstuffs five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. Using measurements of trace 134Cs radioactivity, we investigated the contribution ratio of 137Cs derived from the Fukushima accident on 2011 and pre-Fukushima. The median detected concentration of radiocesium (134Cs?+?137Cs) in foodstuffs was 0.33 Bq/kg-raw, a much lower radioactivity than the Japanese regulatory limit. However, a few samples had particularly high radioactivity, including some dried mushrooms sold in Iwate Prefecture that had a 137Cs radioactivity concentration as high as 441?Bq/kg. Our analysis showed that 75.5% of the 137Cs detected in these mushrooms originated from the Fukushima accident, and 24.5% was originated before the Fukushima event. Our study clarified the 137Cs contamination in 75 of all 259 food samples before and after the Fukushima nuclear accident, showing that not only mushrooms but also fish had been contaminated before the Fukushima accident.
Project description:The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster caused serious radiocesium (137Cs) contamination of forest ecosystems over a wide area. Forest-floor organic layers play a key role in controlling the overall bioavailability of 137Cs in forest ecosystems; however, there is still an insufficient understanding of how forest types influence the retention capability of 137Cs in organic layers in Japanese forest ecosystems. Here we conducted plot-scale investigations on the retention of 137Cs in organic layers at two contrasting forest sites in Fukushima. In a deciduous broad-leaved forest, approximately 80% of the deposited 137Cs migrated to mineral soil located below the organic layers within two years after the accident, with an ecological half-life of approximately one year. Conversely, in an evergreen coniferous forest, more than half of the deposited 137Cs remained in the organic layers, with an ecological half-life of 2.1 years. The observed retention behavior can be well explained by the tree phenology and accumulation of 137Cs associated with litter materials with different degrees of degradation in the organic layers. Spatial and temporal patterns of gamma-ray dose rates depended on the retention capability. Our results demonstrate that enhanced radiation risks last longer in evergreen coniferous forests than in deciduous broad-leaved forests.
Project description:Following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in March 2011, radionuclides such as iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137 were released into environment. In this study, we collected wild mushrooms from the Kawauchi Village of Fukushima Prefecture, located less than 30 km southwest of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, to evaluate their radiocesium (134Cs+137Cs) concentrations and the risk of internal radiation exposure in local residents. 342 mushroom samples were collected from 2016 to 2019. All samples were analysed for radiocesium content by a high-purity germanium detector. Among 342 mushroom samples, 260 mushroom samples (76%) were detected the radiocesium exceeding the regulatory limit of radiocesium (100 Bq/kg for general foods in Japan). The median of committed effective dose from ingestion of wild mushrooms was in the range of 0.015-0.053 mSv in 2016, 0.0025-0.0087 mSv in 2017, 0.029-0.110 mSv in 2018 and 0.011-0.036 mSv in 2019 based on the assumption that Japanese citizens consumed wild mushrooms for 1 year. Thus, our study showed that although radiocesium is still detected in mushrooms collected in Kawauchi village even after 5 to 9 years later, the committed effective dose due to consuming mushrooms was lower than 1 mSv per year. Long-term comprehensive follow-up should monitor radiocesium concentrations in wild mushrooms to support the recovery of the community after the nuclear disaster.
Project description:A monitoring survey was conducted from August 2011 to July 2016 of the spatiotemporal distribution in the 400 km2 area of the northern part of Tokyo Bay and in rivers flowing into it of radiocesium released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident. The average inventory in the river mouth (10 km2) was 131 kBq?m-2 and 0.73 kBq?m-2 in the central bay (330 km2) as the decay corrected value on March 16, 2011. Most of the radiocesium that flowed into Tokyo Bay originated in the northeastern section of the Tokyo metropolitan area, where the highest precipitation zone of 137Cs in soil was almost the same level as that in Fukushima City, then flowed into and was deposited in the Old-Edogawa River estuary, deep in Tokyo Bay. The highest precipitation of radiocesium measured in the high contaminated zone was 460 kBq?m-2. The inventory in sediment off the estuary of Old-Edogawa was 20.1 kBq?m-2 in August 2011 immediately after the accident, but it increased to 104 kBq?m-2 in July 2016. However, the radiocesium diffused minimally in sediments in the central area of Tokyo Bay in the five years following the FDNPP accident. The flux of radiocesium off the estuary decreased slightly immediately after the accident and conformed almost exactly to the values predicted based on its radioactive decay. Contrarily, the inventory of radiocesium in the sediment has increased. It was estimated that of the 8.33 TBq precipitated from the atmosphere in the catchment regions of the rivers Edogawa and Old-Edogawa, 1.31 TBq migrated through rivers and was deposited in the sediments of the Old-Edogawa estuary by July 2016. Currently, 0.25 TBq?yr-1 of radiocesium continues to flow into the deep parts of Tokyo Bay.