Two-Compartment Kinetic Modeling of Radiocesium Accumulation in Marine Bivalves under Hypothetical Exposure Regimes

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2677-2684
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
Online published29 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


Interpreting the variable concentrations of 137Cs in the field biological samples requires mechanistic understanding of both environmental and biological behavior of 137Cs. In this study, we used a two-compartment model to estimate and compare the 137Cs biokinetics in three species of subtropical marine bivalves. Significant interspecific difference of 137Cs biokinetics was observed among oysters, mussels, and scallops. There was considerable 137Cs assimilation from phytoplankton in the bivalves, but the calculated trophic transfer factors were generally between 0.04 and 0.4. We demonstrated a major efflux of radiocesium in the scallops (with a rate constant of 0.207 d-1), whereas the efflux was comparable between oysters and mussels (0.035-0.038 d-1). A two-compartment kinetic model was developed to simulate the 137Cs accumulation in the three bivalves under four hypothetical exposure regimes. We showed that the bivalves respond differently to the exposure regimes in terms of time to reach equilibrium, equilibrium concentration, and maximum concentration. Bivalves suffering more frequent intermittent exposure may have higher maximum concentrations than those receiving less frequent exposure. The interspecific difference of 137Cs accumulation in bivalves has important implications for biomonitoring and implementing management techniques. This study represents one of the first attempts to combine both dissolved and dietary pathways to give a realistic simulation of 137Cs accumulation in marine bivalves under dynamic exposure regimes.