Navigation Links
The ecological effects of the Chernobyl disaster

Nearly 20 years ago Reactor number 4 at Chernobyl exploded, sending radiation across a large region of what is now the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Some 40 radionucleotides were released into the environment, including Strontium 90 (90Sr) and Cesium 137 (137Cs). Yet despite radiation levels dangerous to humans, most natural areas in the region have rebounded, and by ecological standards, are functioning normally. The session, organized by James Morris and Timothy Mousseau (University of South Carolina, US) will reveal how the environment has responded -- from genetic mutation rates, to plant and animal communities, to nutrient cycling.

Sergey Gaschak (International Radioecology Laboratory, Ukraine) will open the session with his presentation, "Determinants of levels of 90Sr and 137Cs in birds in Chernobyl." Studying 228 birds of 23 different species captured in Chernobyl, Gaschak and colleagues from the University of South Carolina (US) and University Pierre et Marie Curie (France) measured the birds' levels of radioactive strontium and radioactive cesium, comparing migrating populations with those that remain in the area, as well as examining age, sex, and nesting preferences to determine the amounts and types of radiation accumulating in the birds. In the presentation, Gaschak will discuss how quantities of 90Sr and 137Cs vary with feeding, nesting and migration habits.

Timothy Mousseau will present "Consequences of radiation for reproduction and survival of barn swallows Hirundo rustica from Chernobyl." Barn swallows are long-distance migratory birds, which nest across Europe, providing researchers with numerous populations to sample. Examining swallows from the Chernobyl region and Kanev, southeast of Kiev, Mousseau and his colleague, Anders Moller (Laboratorie de Parasitologie Evolutive, France), found reproductive success was significantly reduced for the Chernobyl-nesting birds. Survival rates, number of eggs laid, and overall body condition w as lower, despite similar nesting and laying dates.

The radio nucleotides in the area also filter into the soil, and from there into plants. Animals that consume these plants, including livestock, then take up the radionucleotides. Viktor Dolin (National Academy of Sciences, Kyiv, Ukraine) will discuss a newly described process of environmental self-cleaning in the talk, "Biogeochemical cycling of radionucleotide: Implications for the human food web." Dolin calculated the rate of 137Cs and 90Srs moving through the environment, then used the data to determine an ecosystem's ability to "clean" itself of excess radiation.

Oleksander Orlov's (Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute) presentation, "The distribution and cycling of 137Cs in forests of the Chernobyl exclusion zone," will focus on 137Cs levels in three 50-year old Scotch Pine forests. Forest litter, moss, lichens, understory, macromycetes, and canopy 137Cs activity measurements will be described. Also working in these pine forests, Vadim Skripkin and colleagues from the Institute for Environmental Geochemistry, Ukraine and the University of South Carolina will report their findings on the distribution of 14C in, "The turnover of 14C carbon in forests of the Chernobyl exclusion zone."

The final presentation of the session, Ronald Chesser (Texas Tech University, US) will describe the distribution and effects of radiation doses that hit wildlife that were living in the area at the time of the accident, as well as how the populations recovered in the talk, "Temporal trends in radiation doses, survival, and recovery in wildlife populations at Chernobyl."

Organized Oral Session 7: "Ecological effects of the Chernobyl disaster: Genes to ecosystems," will take place Monday 8 August 2005, 1:30 - 5:00 PM in Meeting Room 510 A, Level 5, Palais des congrès de Montréal.

For more information about this session and other ESA-INTECOL Meeting activities, visit: www.esa.org/montreal. Th e theme of the meeting is "Ecology at multiple scales," and some 4,000 scientists are expected to attend.


'"/>

Source:Ecological Society of America


Related biology news :

1. Essential mangrove forest threatened by cryptic ecological degradation
2. An (ecological) origin of species for tropical reef fish
3. UN: World in big ecological mess
4. Logging changed ecological balance for monkeys, damaged health
5. Applying ecological laws to bacteria
6. Gene chips forecast ecological impacts of climate change
7. Humans ecological footprint in 2015 and Amazonia revealed
8. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
9. Alcohols effects on gene expression in the central nervous system
10. Scientists discover how plants disarm the toxic effects of excessive sunlight
11. Physiological effects of reduced gravity on bacteria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/15/2016)... New York , June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by ... and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, ... USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated ... reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: