Bioindication of the environment in the vicinity of the far-eastern center for radioactive waste treatment
The present study was aimed at estimating the environmental conditions in the vicinity of the Far”Eastern center on radioactive waste treatment using bioindication techniques. Three species of plants (five”finger, violet, white clover) were sampled in five sites with dose rates ranging from 0.05 to 6.0 μSv/h. A fluctuating asymmetry of leaves and pollen fertility were used as indexes of the environmental well”being. A statistically significant increase in the index of fluctuating asymmetry in white clover was found on the site where external dose rate enhanced the background rate by a factor of 50 – 60. In the same white clover population a rare morphological anomaly was found. Survey of the reproduction index, namely, pollen sterility, under conditions of relatively low levels of man”made impact revealed an increase in sterile pollen grains percentage in violet plants along with an external dose rate, while five”finger plants showed enhanced pollen sterility on the reference site. This allows an assumption about a significant contribution of ecological factors (weather, species type, biotic surrounding) to the cumulative plant response under low”level radiation impact. Thus, in this study alterations in developmental stability and reproduction ability are revealed in some plant species inhabiting sites with the highest levels of radiation impact. The findings obtained show that the bioindication approach could be considered as a promising method for primary screening”level assessment of the environmental well” being under man”made (including radioactive) contamination.
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