The extent and significance of bioturbation on Cs-137 distributions in upland soils



Tyler A, Carter S, Davidson D, Long DJ & Tipping R (2001) The extent and significance of bioturbation on Cs-137 distributions in upland soils. CATENA, 43 (2), pp. 81-99.;

Differences between measured 137Cs activity-depth profiles and idealised undisturbed profiles generated from an exponential model suggest that faunal turbation has redistributed 137Cs in mineral and organic upland soils in southern Scotland. Bioturbation is also demonstrated by the vertical displacement of other inputs to the soils of known age (non-native tree pollen and spheroidal carbonaceous particles, SCPs). The causes and mechanisms of bioturbation were further investigated by soil micromorphology. Well-drained mineral soils with active populations of earthworms are the most bioturbated, showing near-complete homogenisation to depths of about 20 cm. Enchytraeids also seem to remobilise 137Cs by the digestion of organic matter and may be the main cause of 137Cs redistribution in organic-rich upland soils. Relative rates of mixing are evaluated by comparing 137Cs depth profiles.

caesium-137; bioturbation; organic and mineral soils; non-native tree pollen; spheroidal carbonaceous particles micromorphology

CATENA: Volume 43, Issue 2

Publication date05/03/2001
Publication date online13/02/2001
Publisher URL…0341816200001272

People (2)


Professor Donald Davidson

Professor Donald Davidson

Emeritus Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Andrew Tyler

Professor Andrew Tyler

Scotland Hydro Nation Chair, Biological and Environmental Sciences