Uptake and transfer factors of 137Cs by mushrooms

Radiat Environ Biophys. 1992;31(1):39-49. doi: 10.1007/BF01211511.


The 137Cs content of 118 species (668 samples) of higher fungi collected in the period from August 1984 to October 1989 at three different locations in Styria, Austria, was determined by gamma-spectrometry. The Cs-content of most mushrooms has been increasing since September 1986. In order to find out which factors determine the 137Cs-contamination of mushrooms and the transfer-value soil to mushroom, the concentration of total and plant-available radiocesium in soils as well as the pH-value, the content of humus, clay, silt, sand, exchangeable cations, the composition of the clay minerals, and the particle size distribution of the soils of two different locations were examined. The higher the 137Cs contamination of the soil, the thicker the layer of humus and the higher the content of humus, the lower the pH-value, and the lower the amount of essential cations, especially of K+, the higher the amount of 137Cs plant-available will be. Therefore, the contamination of the mushrooms in the coniferous forest of Koralpenblick (1000 m) is higher than in the mixed forest at the Rosenberg around Graz at approx. 500 m height. Of 26 different species of mushrooms measured at both sites, only 61% show the highest TF-values soil to mushrooms also at the Koralpenblick. In the spruce forest at Koralpenblick there are many species of mushrooms with high 137Cs-contamination which were not found at the Rosenberg. However, the properties of the species to which a mushroom belongs are more important than environmental conditions and soil properties. The transfer values of 40K stay within narrow bounds, whereas those of 137Cs differ widely.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Basidiomycota / chemistry*
  • Basidiomycota / metabolism
  • Cesium Radioisotopes / analysis*
  • Cesium Radioisotopes / metabolism
  • Nuclear Reactors
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Radioactive Fallout / adverse effects*
  • Soil Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Ukraine


  • Cesium Radioisotopes
  • Radioactive Fallout
  • Soil Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Potassium