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PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29295. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029295. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Trophic position and metabolic rate predict the long-term decay process of radioactive cesium in fish: a meta-analysis.

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Institute for Sustainable Sciences and Development, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.


Understanding the long-term behavior of radionuclides in organisms is important for estimating possible associated risks to human beings and ecosystems. As radioactive cesium (¹³⁷Cs) can be accumulated in organisms and has a long physical half-life, it is very important to understand its long-term decay in organisms; however, the underlying mechanisms determining the decay process are little known. We performed a meta-analysis to collect published data on the long-term ¹³⁷Cs decay process in fish species to estimate biological (metabolic rate) and ecological (trophic position, habitat, and diet type) influences on this process. From the linear mixed models, we found that 1) trophic position could predict the day of maximum ¹³⁷Cs activity concentration in fish; and 2) the metabolic rate of the fish species and environmental water temperature could predict ecological half-lives and decay rates for fish species. These findings revealed that ecological and biological traits are important to predict the long-term decay process of ¹³⁷Cs activity concentration in fish.

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