Mechanisms and Models

Addressing current knowledge gaps on radionuclide transfer to reptiles

ICRER 2011 – International Conference on Radioecology & Environmental Radioactivity: Environment & Nuclear Renaissance, ICRER 2011, Hamilton, Canada.

M.D. Wooda1, N.A. Beresforda2, T.L. Yankovicha3, D.V. Semenova4 and D. Copplestonea5

a1 School of Science & the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M1 5GD, UK

a2 Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP, UK

a3 Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 2X8, Canada

a4 A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology & Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow,Russia

a5 School of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK


Model intercomparison exercises have identified radionuclide transfer predictions as the greatest source of uncertainty in biota dose assessments. One wildlife group for which few transfer data exist is reptiles, Given that reptiles are an important, and often protected, component of many ecosystems and that assessments of radiation impact on ecosystems are becoming increasingly necessary due to the current nuclear renaissance, there is a need to further develop our current database on transfer to reptiles or find alternative approaches to estimate reptile transfer parameters. Three approaches that have the potential to increase the availability of parameters to predict radionuclide transfer to reptiles are the use of non-lethal sampling techniques, phylogenetic relationships and allometric relationships. Non-lethal sampling is an attractive long term option for deriving transfer parameters, but the derivation of phylogenetic and allometric relationships could provide ways of predicting transfer in the interim.

(Online publication January 09 2012)