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Cesium uptake of field-grown Amaranthus species in Fukushima focusing on Cs concentration in xylem exudate and root distribution

Murakami, Toshifumi, Eguchi, Tetsuya, Ogata, Naoki, Kubo, Katashi, Matsunami, Hisaya, Ota, Takeshi, Kihou, Nobuharu, Kobayashi, Hiroyuki
Soil science and plant nutrition 2019 v.65 no.5 pp. 490-500
Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus hypochondriacus, accidents, agricultural land, cesium, clay minerals, exchangeable potassium, nuclear power, nutrients, power plants, radionuclides, roots, shoots, soil-plant interactions, spatial distribution, stable isotopes, standard deviation, topsoil, xylem, Japan, Mexico
Radiocesium (RCs) discharged by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.) accident has extensively contaminated agricultural land in Fukushima Prefecture and its neighboring areas. Many studies have demonstrated that Cs (RCs and ¹³³Cs) uptake of plants is affected by the exchangeable K (Ex-K) concentration in soil. However, the precise plant–soil interaction in relation to Cs uptake is still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate Cs uptake of plant in field by focusing on xylem exudate and roots because nutrients in xylem exudate reflect medium (soil) conditions and affect nutrient accumulation in shoots. Two varieties of amaranth, K4 (Amaranthus caudatus L.) and Mexico type (A. hypochondriacus L.), which have different Cs uptake abilities, were grown in four fields and in pots (750 to 3440 Bq kg⁻¹ of RCs) in Fukushima Prefecture. Cs concentrations in xylem exudate, shoot, and soil; Ex-K concentration in soil; and root distribution in soil were determined. RCs concentration in xylem exudate varied from 0.04 to 164 Bq kg⁻¹ and ¹³³Cs concentration in xylem exudate ranged from 0.01 to 33.7 μg kg⁻¹. The Cs concentrations were decreased by the high Ex-K concentration and the large amount of 2:1 type clay minerals in soil. The average of the ratios of Cs concentration in shoot to Cs concentration in xylem exudate for all samples was 127 ± 112 (mean ± standard deviation), although no clear correlation was found between them. The correlations betwee\n RCs and ¹³³Cs concentrations in xylem exudate and shoot were strong in pot and in the field with low Ex-K concentration. Eighty-five percent of the total root length was distributed in the topsoil (0–20 cm soil layer). The positions where roots take up Cs were estimated from the differences in the vertical distribution of RCs and ¹³³Cs concentrations in soil. The estimated Cs uptake ratios of topsoil to total soil layer ranged from 7% to 91% and varied with the concentration and the vertical distribution of Ex-K in soil.