Effects of multiple stressors exposures on plant populations

The results of long-term field studies in the Bryansk region of Russia affected by the Chernobyl accident, and in the Semipalatinsk Test Site, Kazakhstan are discussed. Findings obtained clearly indicate that chronic low dose exposure appears to be an ecological factor creating preconditions for possible changes in the genetic structure of a population. Plant populations growing in areas with relatively low levels of pollution are characterized by the increased level of both cytogenetic disturbances and genetic diversity. Under conditions of chronic exposure in pine tree populations were developed seed descendants with significantly lower reproductive ability than in the reference population.

The majority of abiotic stress studies performed under controlled conditions in laboratory does not reflect the actual situations that occur in the field. Therefore, to understand effects of contaminant exposure on natural populations properly we must pay attention to what is actually going on in the field. Field studies are particularly useful for assessing long-term biological effects induced by chronic low dose-rate and multi-pollutant exposure at contaminated sites. Up to now we have known little about responses of plant and animal populations to environmental pollutants in their natural environments. Although radionuclides and heavy metals cause primary damage at the molecular level, there are emergent effects at the level of populations, non-predictable solely from the knowledge of elementary mechanisms of the pollutants’ influence. The knowledge gained from field research would be valuable at the most fundamental level for increasing our understanding of microevolution and plant response to stress. Previously completed and ongoing field studies that have been carried out in our laboratory in different species of wild and agricultural plants are briefly summarized in Table 1. Details of the studies’ designs and methods could be found in the corresponding papers [1-7]. It is easy to see that these experiments cover a wide range of radioecological situations and climatic zones. Here are discussed two field studies to illustrate the main findings.

Copyright: © Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Quelle: 2nd International Conference 2009 (Juni 2009)
Seiten: 6
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 5,00
Autor: S.A. Geras’kin
J.S. Vanina
Evgeny M. Mozolin
A.A. Oudalova
N.S. Dikareva

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