Document Detail

Natural uranium and thorium distributions in podzolized soils and native blueberry.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11837419     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Plant uptake of radionuclides is one of many vectors for introduction of contaminants into the human food chain. Thus, it is critical to understand soil-plant relationships that control nuclide bioavailability. Our objectives in this study were to (i) determine the extent of U and Th uptake and cycling by blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum Aiton) in native habitat and (ii) identify the soil properties and processes that contribute most to U and Th bioavailability in this system. We collected composite samples of plant leaves and stems, and samples from surface (AE) horizons and from the upper part of the Bs horizon at two sites. Concentration ratios (CRs) for U and Th were calculated for all plant tissues, using both the AE and Bs horizons as the base. Soil concentrations of U ranged from 16 to 25 microg g(-1), with a mean of 21.1 microg g(-1). Soil concentrations of Th ranged from 14 to 97 microg g(-1), with a mean of 41.8 microg g(-1). Mean U concentrations were 8.65 x 10(-3) microg g(-1) in leaf tissue, and 7.95 x 10(-3) microg g(-1) in stem tissue. Mean Th concentrations were 1.59 x 10(-1) microg g(-1) in leaf tissue, and 9.10 x 10(-2) microg g(-1) in stem tissue. Blueberry plants are cycling both U and Th in this system, with Th cycling occurring to a greater extent than U. In addition, Th was translocated preferentially to plant leaves while U concentrations showed little preferential translocation. Uranium uptake, however, seemed more sensitive than Th uptake to soil properties.
L S Morton; C V Evans; G O Estes
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental quality     Volume:  31     ISSN:  0047-2425     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Environ. Qual.     Publication Date:    2002 Jan-Feb
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-02-11     Completed Date:  2002-07-16     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330666     Medline TA:  J Environ Qual     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  155-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
USDA/NRCS, Durham, NH 03824-2043, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Availability
Blueberry Plant*
Food Contamination*
Public Health
Thorium / analysis,  pharmacokinetics*
Uranium / analysis,  pharmacokinetics*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Soil; 7440-29-1/Thorium; 7440-61-1/Uranium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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