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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Effect of eutrophication upon radionuclide dynamics in the Sacca di Goro lagoon (Po River Delta, Italy): a combined field, experimental and modeling study.

The focus of this paper is on the relationship between eutrophication and radionuclide circulation at the whole ecosystem scale in the shallow estuarine environment of the Sacca di Goro (Po River Delta, Italy). This lagoon is frequently affected by dystrophic crises, due to decomposition of huge amounts of macroalgae (mainly Ulva rigida), and critical conditions created at the interface between sediment and water are such that Cs-137 accumulated in the sediment can be mobilized and made available in the water column. The release of cesium from sediment in this ecosystem has been evaluated through a field experiment in which chemical conditions typical of anoxic crises were artificially created in enclosures. Also a lab experiment was carried out to shed light on possible cesium release by decomposing macroalgae. The two experiments allowed drawing conclusions on crucial factors controlling cesium release in the Sacca di Goro, the first objective of this research. The second objective was understanding the fate of radiocesium once transported in the water column. To this end ecological information gathered during the experiments and a yearly sampling campaign, has been converted into whole-system seasonal networks describing ecosystem flow structure for the Sacca di Goro. Analyzed by network analysis this model has provided clues about the dynamics of Cs-137 in terms of preferential pathways, sinks, sources, and cycling activity. Sediment, together with seston and dissolved cesium, appear to be the most significant components in the circulation of Cs-137; while macroalgal biomasses play a crucial role as an indirect causal factor.[1]

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