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

Willey, Neil


Neil Willey
Professor in Env Plant Physiology


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. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Willey, N. J., & Willey, N. (2010). Phylogeny can be used to make useful predictions of soil-to-plant transfer factors for radionuclides. Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, 49(4), 613-623.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2010
Journal Radiation and Environmental Biophysics
Print ISSN 0301-634X
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 4
Pages 613-623
Public URL
Publisher URL