Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Lake life around Chernobyl said thriving

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Portsmouth, England (UPI) Apr 26, 2011
Lake wildlife near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site is thriving, with effects of radiation apparently offset by the absence of humans, U.K. researchers say.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom studied eight lakes contaminated by the 1986 Ukraine nuclear disaster, measuring the abundance and diversity of the invertebrates living there, reported Tuesday.

Some lakes had almost no measurable levels of radiation, while others had levels 300 times higher than normal, but neither the populations of animals found in the lakes nor their overall diversity were affected by the levels, the researchers said.

In fact, the most contaminated lake, Glubokoye, had the most diverse ecosystem.

"It's thriving," Portsmouth's Jim Smith said.

However, the radiation in the area is still well above safe levels for humans, Smith said, so long-term exposure from the world's worst nuclear power plant disaster could mean an increase in chances of someone developing cancer.

"You still wouldn't want to live there," he said.

Smith says the evacuation of all humans from the area after the disaster has been a boon to the local wildlife, with endangered species such European bison and wild Przewalski's horses making a comeback.

"It demonstrates the impact humans have on ecosystems," Smith said.

earlier related report
Chernobyl's effects on area birds studied
Madrid (UPI) Apr 26, 2011 - Birds with orange or brown plumage may have suffered worse radiation effects than other birds from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a European study concluded.

Ismael Galvan -- a researcher at the Laboratory of Ecology, Systematics and Evolution at the University of Paris-Sur in France -- said the study concentrated on bird coloring generated by melanins, pigments that protect from ultraviolet radiation and generate camouflage patterns.

"The impact on the populations depends, at least in part, on the amount of plumage whose coloring is generated by pheomelanin, one of the two main types of melanins, which produces orangish and brownish colors," Galvan told the Spanish science portal Plataforma SINC.

The birds of Chernobyl with the most plumage colored by pheomelanin -- orange and brown birds -- were judged to be the "most negatively" affected by Chernobyl's radioactivity, the researchers said.

The researchers theorize that because the pigment consumes glutathione, an antioxidant most susceptible to being diminished by radiation, the birds' capacity to combat the oxidative stress generated by radiation is lessened.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Primordial fear: why radiation is so scary
Paris (AFP) April 24, 2011
Nuclear radiation is frightening stuff. A quarter century after Chernobyl, and more than 65 years after atomic bombs laid waste to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fatally sickening thousands not killed outright, even unfounded fear of radioactive contamination can spark panic. The explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large swat ... read more

Lake life around Chernobyl said thriving

Researchers Discover Optical Secrets of Metallic Beetles

Sony challenges iPad in tablet war

A scratched coating heals itself

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Integration of MONAX Communications System with Air Force Base Network

Preparations Underway As US Army Gears Up For Large-Scale Network Evaluations

Global Military Communications Market In 2010

Raytheon BBN Technologies To Protect Internet Comms For Military Abroad

Ariane Ariane 5 enjoys second successful launch for 2011

Ariane rocket launches two telecoms satellites

SpaceX aims to put man on Mars in 10-20 years

ULA Launches Fifth NRO Mission In Seven Months

GPS IIF Satellite Delivered to Cape Canaveral

S. Korea probes Apple about tracking feature

SecuraPets Introduces Better Way To Find Lost Pets

Topcon First Major Company To Track New GLONASS K1 Satellite Signals

Novel ash analysis validates volcano no-fly zones

Owls fly for cameras in flight study

GE likely to fight jet engine cancellation

China to build $1bn airport in Chad

Zeroing in on the Elusive Green LED

Conducting ferroelectrics may be key to new electronic memory

LED efficiency puzzle solved

Super-Small Transistor Created, Artificial Atom Powered By Single Electrons

Running ring around hurricanes predictions

Belgium probes Google's Street View

Goa Seeks ISRO Expertise For Mapping Mangroves, Sand Dunes

Satellites can give advance hurricane info

Toxic chemicals found in pet dogs

Toxic mud disaster leaves deep scars in Hungary

Britain issues first smog warning of the summer

Mercury On The Rise In Endangered Pacific Seabirds

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement