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Chernobyl’s legacy recorded in trees

The twisted stems of Scots pines have been attributed to mutations caused by radiation exposure

 Exposure to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl accident had a lasting negative legacy on the area’s trees, a study has suggested. Researchers said the worst effects were recorded in the “first few years” but surviving trees were left vulnerable to environmental stress, such as drought.

They added that young trees appeared to be particularly affected. Writing in the journal Trees, the team said it was the first study to look at the impact at a landscape scale. “Our field results were consistent with previous findings that were based on much smaller sample sizes,” explained co-author Tim Mousseau from the University of South Carolina, US.

“They are also consistent with the many reports of genetic impacts to these trees,” he told BBC News. “Many of the trees show highly abnormal growth forms reflecting the effects of mutations and cell death resulting from radiation exposure.”

 BBC 9th Aug 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23619870

September 23, 2021 - Posted by | environment, Ukraine

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