Nonessential elements enter/accumulate in trees at certain ratios via the same uptake/translocation systems as essential elements. This phenomenon may not only damage the ecosystem but also result in human health problems. As one such nonessential element, the fate of radiocesium in trees has been extensively studied after the nuclear accident at Fukushima in 2011. Here, to better our understanding of the fate of radiocesium in nature and contribute to plan countermeasures, a review based on recent data for the Fukushima accident will be explicated with historical experiences of the global fallout, the Chernobyl accident, and many laboratory studies. In particular, the effects of specific leaf ecology (deciduous and evergreen), types of radiocesium exposure (dry/wet depositions or root uptake), and decomposition of litter on the fate of radiocesium will be precisely described with a specific uptake/translocation system of potassium, which can be recognized as the most possible entrance of radiocesium into trees.
Part of the book: Plant Ecology