Migration and bioavailability of (137)Cs in forest soil of southern Germany.
ABSTRACT To give a quantitative description of the radiocaesium soil-plant transfer for fern (Dryopteris carthusiana) and blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), physical and chemical properties of soils in spruce and mixed forest stands were investigated. Of special interest was the selective sorption of radiocaesium, which was determined by measuring the Radiocaesium Interception Potential (RIP). Forest soil and plants were taken at 10 locations of the Altdorfer Wald (5 sites in spruce forest and 5 sites in mixed forest). It was found that the bioavailability of radiocaesium in spruce forest was on average seven times higher than in mixed forest. It was shown that important factors determining the bioavailability of radiocaesium in forest soil were its exchangeability and the radiocaesium interception potential (RIP) of the soil. Low potassium concentration in soil solution of forest soils favors radiocaesium soil-plant transfer. Ammonium in forest soils plays an even more important role than potassium as a mobilizer of radiocaesium. The availability factor - a function of RIP, exchangeability and cationic composition of soil solution - characterized reliably the soil-plant transfer in both spruce and mixed forest. For highly organic soils in coniferous forest, radiocaesium sorption at regular exchange sites should be taken into account when its bioavailability is considered.