Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 613–623

Phylogeny can be used to make useful predictions of soil-to-plant transfer factors for radionuclides

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00411-010-0320-2

Cite this article as:
Willey, N.J. Radiat Environ Biophys (2010) 49: 613. doi:10.1007/s00411-010-0320-2


Soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides can be related to plant evolutionary history (phylogeny). For some species and radionuclides the effect is significant enough to be useful in predicting Transfer Factors (TFs). Here a Residual Maximum Likelihood (REML)-based mixed model and a recent plant phylogeny are used to compile data on soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides and to show how the phylogeny can be used to fill gaps in TFs. Using published data, generic means for TFs are used to anchor the data from REML modelling and hence predict TFs for important groups of plants. Radionuclides of Cs are used as an example. With a generic soil-to-plant TF of 0.07, TFs of 0.035 and 0.085 are predicted for monocot and eudicot gaps, respectively. Also demonstrated is how the known effects of soil conditions can be predicted across plant groups—predicted Cs TFs for gap-filling across all flowering plants are calculated for sandy loams with and without waterlogging. Predictions of TFs for Sr, Co, Cl and Ru are also given. Overall, the results show that general predictions of TFs based on phylogeny are possible—a significant contribution to gap filling for TFs.

Supplementary material

411_2010_320_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (163 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 162 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Plant Science, School of Life SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK