ORCID Identifier

Boratynski, Zbyszek

0000-0003-4668-4922

Kivisaari, Kati

0000-0001-8892-2947

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Nuclear accidents underpin the need to quantify the ecological mechanisms which determineinjury to ecosystems from chronic low-dose radiation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that ecological mech-anisms interact with ionizing radiation to affect natural populations in unexpected ways. We used large-scale replicated experiments and food manipulations in wild populations of the rodent, Myodes glareolus,inhabiting the region near the site of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. We show linear decreases in breedingsuccess with increasing ambient radiation levels with no evidence of any threshold below which effects arenot seen. Food supplementation of experimental populations resulted in increased abundances but only inlocations where radioactive contamination was low (i.e., below  1 lSv/h). In areas with higher contami-nation, food supplementation showed no detectable effects. These findings suggest that chronic low-dose-rate irradiation can decrease the stability of populations of key forest species, and these effects couldpotentially scale to broader community changes with concomitant consequences for the ecosystemfunctioning of forests impacted by nuclear accidents.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1002/ecs2.2667

APA Citation

Mappes, T., Boratyński, Z., Kivisaari, K., Lavrinienko, A., Milinevsky, G., Mousseau, T. A., Møller, A. P., Tukalenko, E., & Watts, P. C. (2019).Ecological Mechanisms Can Modify Radiation Effects in a Key Forest Mammal of Chernobyl. Ecosphere, 10(4), e02667.

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