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Title: Radiation Experiments on Aquatic Organisms
Author: W.J. Reynolds
Author: K.S. Leonard
Author: B.P. Lyons
Author: F. Goodsir
Author: J.T. Barry
Author: J.F. Knowles
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1104, Representation ID: 350, Object ID: 2372
This project looks at the effects of gamma radiation on marine organisms, particularly two common species of seaweed: Fucus vesiculosus (bladder wrack) and Ulva intestinalis (gutweed). The International Commission on Radiological Protection has included a brown seaweed as one of a list of reference animals and plants that should form the basis of a new radiological protection framework for plants and animals (ICRP, 2003). There were four objectives. First to conduct a literature review covering radiation effects and methods of studying them, on seaweeds (marine macroalgae) and other potential species of interest. Second to carry out experiments on the effects of gamma radiation on the reproduction of F. vesiculosus and U. intestinalis. Third, to carry out a second set of experiments on the effects of gamma radiation on the growth of germlings of the two species. Fourth, to assess the data, report the findings and advise on future research directions. The report concludes that Gamma radiation at dose rates between 0.32 and 11.8 mGyh-1 causes clearly observable effects on germination and growth of F. vesiculosus and U. intestinalis. The two species of macroalgae respond differently. These dose rates are relatively large compared to those expected under environmental conditions. U. intestinalis may be suitable for future use as an indicator to assess effects of radiation exposure on the environment, because it is more sensitive to low dose radiation than F. vesiculosus, especially in its reproductive life history stages. Further work is required to find out if the observed effects would alter populations in the long term, and to establish whether this species is a suitable indicator for protection of the environment.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: RadiationCoastal watersGamma radiationGerminationIndicator speciesSeaweedMarine environment
Geographic Keywords: EnglandWales
Taxonomic Keywords: Ulva intestinalisFucus vesiculosus
Extent: 66
Total file downloads: 298

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