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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 280-290
    Received: Feb 10, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): tiziana.centofanti@gmail.com


Time-Dependent Distribution of Surface-Applied Radionuclides and their Recovery in Maize during the Growing Season

  1. T. Centofanti *a,
  2. E. Frossarda and
  3. H. Flühlerb
  1. a Plant Nutrition, Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich, Eschikon 33, CH-8315 Lindau (ZH) Switzerland
    b Soil Physics, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, CH-8044 Zurich, Switzerland


The spatial and temporal heterogeneity of field soils influences the fate and behavior of strongly sorbing pollutants and their entry into the food chain. We studied the redistribution of surface-applied 54Mn, 65Zn, 57Co, and 134Cs in the soil profile and their recovery in the aerial parts of maize grown on an untilled agricultural soil during the growing season. Radionuclides were more concentrated in the preferential flow paths (PFP) than in the soil matrix and their concentration decreased with time. The recovery of 54Mn in the aerial plant parts increased between pollen shed and maturity, while the recovery of 65Zn and 57Co did not show any significant difference, and the recovery of 134Cs decreased with time. The amount and distribution of rainfall, and the chemical, physical, and microbiological soil characteristics are the major factors influencing the variation of radionuclide recovery with time.

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