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Bioaccumulation of Cr-51, Ni-63 and C-14 in Baltic Sea benthos
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Södertörn University College.
2005 (English)In: Environmental Pollution, ISSN 1873-6424, Vol. 134, no 1, 45-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Baltic Sea is a species-poor, semi-enclosed, brackish sea, whose sediments contain a wide range of contaminants, including sediment-associated metals and radionuclides. In this study, we have examined and compared bioaccumulation kinetics and assimilation efficiencies of sediment-associated 51Cr, 63Ni and 14C in three key benthic invertebrates (the deposit-feeding Monoporeia affinis, the facultative deposit-feeding Macoma baltica, and the omnivorous Halicryptus spinulosus). Our results demonstrate that (i) all radionuclides were accumulated, (ii) the different radionuclides were accumulated to various extents, (iii) small changes in organic carbon concentration can influence the accumulation, and (iv) the degree of accumulation differed only slightly between species. These processes, together with sediment resuspension and bioturbation, may remobilise trace metals from the sediment to the water and to higher trophic levels, and therefore should be taken into account in exposure models and ERAs.

Bioaccumulation of radioisotopes in Baltic Sea benthos has important implications for contaminant transfer and exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2005. Vol. 134, no 1, 45-56 p.
Keyword [en]
Bioaccumulation; Sediment; Benthos; Radionuclides; Trace metals
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23177DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2004.07.017OAI: diva2:190517
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175Available from: 2004-05-13 Created: 2004-05-13 Last updated: 2009-12-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Radionuclides in the Baltic Sea: Ecosystem models and experiments on transport and fate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Radionuclides in the Baltic Sea: Ecosystem models and experiments on transport and fate
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manmade radionuclides have been introduced to the environment for almost a century. The main source has been the nuclear weapons testing programmes, but accidental releases from the nuclear power production industries have also contributed. The risk to humans from potential releases from nuclear facilities is evaluated in safety assessments. Essential components of these assessments are exposure models, which estimate the transport of radionuclides in the environment, the uptake in biota, and transfer to humans. Recently, there has been a growing concern for radiological protection of the whole environment, not only humans, and a first attempt has been to employ model approaches based on stylised environments and transfer functions to biota based exclusively on bioconcentration factors. They are generally of a non-mechanistic nature and involve no knowledge of the actual processes involved, which is a severe limitation when assessing real ecosystems.

The research presented in this thesis attempts to introduce a methodology for modelling exposure of biota that is based on systems ecological theories and concepts. All presented papers concern bioaccumulation and circulation of radionuclides in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea, which is a sea surrounded by several nuclear power plants, waste repositories and reprocessing facilities. Paper I illustrates how an ecosystem model can be used to predict the fate of C-14 in a bay, and to explore the influence of uptake route and water exchange on the concentrations in biota. Due to the longevity of many radionuclides, time spans of thousands of years need to be considered in assessments of nuclear waste facilities. In Paper II, the methodological problems associated with these long timescales are discussed and a new modelling approach is proposed. An extension and generalisation of the C-14 flow model into a generic model for other radionuclides is described and tested in Paper III. This paper also explores the importance of three radionuclide specific mechanisms (plant uptake, excretion and adsorption to organic surfaces) for the concentrations in biota. In Paper IV, the bioaccumulation kinetics of three radionuclides in three key benthic species of the Baltic Sea is studied experimentally. Paper V considers remobilisation and redistribution of sediment-associated radionuclides due to biological mixing, in a microcosm study.

The findings in this thesis show both that it was possible to use an ecosystem approach to assess the exposure to biota, and that this approach can handle many of the problems identified in the use of traditional exposure models for radionuclides. To conclude, frameworks for the protection of the environment from ionising radiation would benefit from implementing methodologies based on ecologically sound principles and modelling techniques.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för systemekologi, 2004. 150 p.
radionuclide, baltic sea, ecosystem model, ecosystem dynamics, risk assessment, safety assessment, benthic invertebrates, bioturbation, bioaccumulation, remobilisation
National Category
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175 (URN)91-7265-891-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-06-04, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2004-05-13 Created: 2004-05-13 Last updated: 2009-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Kumblad, LindaBradshaw, Clare
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