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The grain storage of wet-deposited caesium and strontium by spring wheat - A modelling study based on a field experiment

Journal article
Authors Annemieke I. Gärdenäs
S. L. Berglund
S. B. Bengtsson
K. Rosen
Published in Science of the Total Environment
Volume 574
Pages 1313-1325
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 1313-1325
Language en
Keywords Dynamic model Tracey, Interception, Foliar uptake, Radioactivity, Crops, nuclear accidents, plant transfer, oilseed rape, soil, interception, radiocesium, radiostrontium, translocation, radionuclides, water
Subject categories Environmental Sciences


The aims of this study were to extend the Tracey model in order to quantify and to analyse spring wheat's grain storage dynamics of wet-deposited radionuclides. Tracey, a dynamic model of trace element cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, was extended with descriptions of wet-deposition, interception, foliar uptake and radioactive decay. Radionuclide fluxes were set proportional to corresponding water or carbon fluxes, simulated with CoupModel. The extended Tracey was calibrated against experimental data, where Cs-134 and Sr-85 were deposited on spring wheat at six growth stages in 2010 and 2011. Sensitivities of grain storage to wheat's and radionuclide properties were assessed, using the Eikos software, by 1000 Monte Carlo simulations for each of the 48 scenarios (combination of 2 radionuclides, 1 foliar uptake, 2 root uptake approaches, 6 deposition treatments and 2 years). Simulations were accepted if simulated grain storage values were within 95% confidence intervals (CI) of measurements. We found that 15% of Cs-134 and Sr-85 simulations for 2011, and 6% of the 2010 simulations met the Cl-criterion. Foliar uptake accounted for 99% and 90% of total plant uptake of Cs-134 and Sr-85, respectively. Mean simulated grain storage at harvest increased with lateness of deposition, as the stored proportion of radionuclide deposited was 0.02% when deposition was before flowering, 2% between flowering and ripening, and 5% (2010) or 10% (2011, late harvest) after ripening, respectively. Similarly, the property that governed grain storage depended on the growth stage at time of deposition; stem and leaf fixation rates (deposition before flowering), grain fixation rates (between flowering and ripening) and grains' interception capacity (after ripening). We conclude that grains' interception capacities can be used to predict grain storage of radionuclides deposited in the riskiest period, i.e. close to harvest. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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