Effects of chronic gamma radiation on the structure and diversity of an oak-pine forest
An oak-pine forest in central Long Island, New York, was irradiated chronically with gamma radiation from 9500 Ci of /sup 137/Cesium for a 4 year period. There was a 50% reduction in diversity at 160 R/day during the first 6 months' exposure. Diversity declined regularly in subsequent years despite the influx of several herbaceous successional species in the damaged zones. The reduction in diversity was systematic in that plants with large life-forms were the most sensitive. Survival of trees varied with tree size. Radiation resistance was correlated with life forms of the plants, the most resistant being low growing species. Radiosensitivity of plant populations is correlated with the average size of the chromosomes at interphase. The relationships between radiosensitivity and chromosome size and between radiosensitivity and the ecology of plants suggest that the evolution of radioresistance in plants has paralleled the evolution of other aspects of ecological amplitude. 47 references, 13 figures, 3 tables.
- OSTI Identifier:
- Resource Type:
- Journal Article
- Resource Relation:
- Journal Name: Ecol. Monogr.; (United States); Journal Volume: 37:1
- Research Org:
- Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; FORESTS; BIOLOGICAL RADIATION EFFECTS; PRODUCTIVITY; OAKS; RADIOSENSITIVITY; SPECIES DIVERSITY; PINES; BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION; BIOLOGICAL VARIABILITY; CESIUM 137; CHROMOSOMES; CHRONIC IRRADIATION; ECOLOGY; GAMMA RADIATION; NEW YORK; SIZE; ALKALI METAL ISOTOPES; BETA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BETA-MINUS DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; CESIUM ISOTOPES; CHRONIC EXPOSURE; CONIFERS; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; FEDERAL REGION II; IONIZING RADIATIONS; IRRADIATION; ISOTOPES; NORTH AMERICA; NUCLEI; ODD-EVEN NUCLEI; PLANTS; RADIATION EFFECTS; RADIATIONS; RADIOISOTOPES; TREES; USA; YEARS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES 560141* -- Radiation Effects on Plants-- Basic Studies-- (-1987)
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