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Radiocesium (137Cs) concentrations in the two-toed amphiuma (Amphiuma means) and the lesser siren (Siren intermedia)
- Haskins, David L., Bryan, Albert L.
- Journal of environmental radioactivity 2020 v.213 pp. 106107
- bioaccumulation, cesium radioisotopes, radioactivity, salamanders and newts, Savannah River Site
- This study sought to determine radiocesium (¹³⁷Cs) concentrations in two species of aquatic salamanders – the two-toed amphiuma (Amphiuma means) and the lesser siren (Siren intermedia) on the Savannah River Site. Concentrations (¹³⁷Cs Bq/g, dry wt) of the two species were similar at both ¹³⁷Cs-contaminated (A. means = 0.733 ± 0.242, n = 5; S. intermedia = 0.839 ± 0.722, n = 5) and reference sites (A. means = 0.028 ± 0.020, n = 5; S. intermedia = 0.042 ± 0.027, n = 11). Salamanders captured in areas impacted by ¹³⁷Cs contamination exhibited significantly higher ¹³⁷Cs concentrations than individuals captured at reference sites (U = 146, p < 0.001). Salamander size (snout-vent length) was not correlated with whole-body ¹³⁷Cs. An analysis of our data using the ERICA tool suggests that negative impacts due to ¹³⁷Cs exposure are unlikely in these species. Overall, these data indicate that A. means and S. intermedia inhabiting contaminated sites bioaccumulate but do not biomagnify ¹³⁷Cs.