8.04.07 - Radioactive contamination of forest ecosystems



Special issue: Radiation contamination of forests and forest products - consequences and future

Edited by Satoru Miura, George Shaw, Yves Thiry, Shoji Hashimoto, Brenda Howard, Sheldon Landsberger.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

During the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi accidents large areas of forests were contaminated by long-lived radionuclides. What was the impact of this contamination and what are the lessons learned from the research conducted afterwards?

Find out more in a Special Issue which includes selected papers from a session of IUFRO's Working Party on Radioactive contamination of forest ecosystems, held in Curitiba, Brazil during the XXV IUFRO World Congress in 2019.


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Shoji Hashimoto, Japan


James Beasley, United States

Gabriele Margarete Voigt, Austria

Mike Wood, United Kingdom

About Unit

The unit focuses on the radioactive contamination in forest ecosystems. Objectives are to clarify the behaviour of radionuclides in forest ecosystems and to develop countermeasures to radioactive contamination in order to support forest production and forest utilization.

State of Knowledge

The unit will address three main topics:

1. Monitoring and modelling of radionuclide dynamics in forest ecosystems:
Monitoring and modelling is essential for developing countermeasures because radionuclides such as cesium 137 and strontium 90 are expected to remain in forest ecosystems for long time.

2. Mechanisms of radiocesium transfer in forest ecosystems:
Living biomass can take up radiocesium as analogue of potassium. Most mushrooms and some plants show high transfer factor rate, but the mechanisms are not clear.

3. Countermeasures and management in contaminated forests:
Forests are complex ecosystems and occupy large territories, so decontamination is generally not suitable for forest land. There is an urgent need for developing specific guidelines and best practices for managing forests affected by radioactive contamination.