Volume 40, May 2005ECORAD 2004
|Page(s)||S857 - S863|
|Published online||17 June 2005|
Terrestrial invertebrate population studies in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine
Enviros, The Shore, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6RA, UK
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 Environmental Research & Consultancy, University of Liverpool, Birkenhead CH41 9HX, UK
The Chernobyl reactor accident in April 1986 released some 3-6.105 TBq 137Cs and 2-4.105 TBq 90Sr to atmosphere. About half of this was deposited within 20 km of the site, leading to extensive death of trees and other biota, and the establishment of a human exclusion zone. High levels of contamination remain in this zone. Nonetheless, birch (Betula spp.) and willow (Salix spp.) have recolonised the forest areas, while abandoned agricultural land has succeeded to tall grassland and scrub. This study summarises observations on invertebrate populations in sites with gamma dose rates varying from 0.1 to 140 μSv h-1. Corresponding activity concentrations were 3.103 to 3.106 Bq kg-1 dw 137Cs and 103 to 2.106 Bq kg-1 dw 90Sr in the top 5 cm of soil. Sub-surface bait lamina penetration decreases with increasing concentrations of 137Cs and 90Sr in soil. At the highest levels of contamination there is also some loss of above-ground invertebrate diversity; although little change in total biomass. Trials on earthworms in soils from the region and matched soils spiked in the laboratory have proved variable. However, there is a non-significant indication of depressed growth rates in all contaminated regimes compared to control populations.
© EDP Sciences, 2005
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