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J Environ Radioact. 2006;91(1-2):27-40. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Radionuclides in marine macroalgae from Amchitka and Kiska Islands in the Aleutians: establishing a baseline for future biomonitoring.

Author information

1
Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8082, USA. burger@biology.rutgers.edu <burger@biology.rutgers.edu>

Abstract

Levels of radionuclides in seven species of marine brown algae and Ulva were determined to establish a baseline for the Northern Pacific Ocean/Bering Sea (Aleutian Islands). There were differences in levels among algal species and locations (Amchitka Island vs Kiska Island). No values were above the minimum detectable activity (MDA) level for (137)Cs, (129)I, (60)Co, (152)Eu, (90)Sr, and (99)Tc. There were interspecific differences in some radionuclides: Ulva lactuca (=Ulva fenestrata) had the highest levels of (241)Am, Alaria fistulosa had the highest levels of (239,240)Pu, and Fucus distichus (=Fucus gardneri) had the highest levels of (234)U, (235)U, and (238)U. However, levels of all radionuclides were generally low and near the MDA for all isotopes. Although Amchitka Island had higher levels of (239,240)Pu than Kiska, the differences were very small and not significant biologically. The data indicate that algae can be useful bioindicators of actinides because they accumulate them at very low environmental levels, allowing them to provide early warning of any potential seepage of radionuclides into the marine environment. Further, the data indicate that some species (the intertidal Fucus) are better accumulators than others, and these should be used as bioindicators in future monitoring schemes.

PMID:
17029666
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvrad.2006.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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