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Title Novel approaches to the estimation of intake and bioavailability of radiocaesium in ruminants grazing forested areas.CEH Staff publications
Name(s) Mayes, R W
Beresford, N A (Nick)
Lamb, C S
Barnett, C L (Cath)
Howard, B J (Brenda J.)
Jones, B-E V
Eriksson, O
Hove, K
Persen, O
Staines, B W (Brian)
Publication 1994
Subjects T07051g5; T07006h1; CEH staff publication;
Abstract It is difficult to measure transfer of radiocaesium to the tissues of forest ruminants because they can potentially ingest a wide range of plant types. Measurements on undomesticated forest ruminants incur further difficulties. Existing techniques of estimating radiocaesium intake are imprecise when applied to forest systems. New approaches to measure this parameter are discussed. Two methods of intake estimation are described and evaluated. In the first method, radiocaesium intake is estimated from the radiocaesium activity concentrations of plants, combined with estimates of dry-matter (DM) intake and plant species composition of the diet, using plant and orally- dosed hydrocarbons (n-alkanes) as markers. The second approach estimates the total radiocaesium intake of an animal from the rate of excretion of radiocaesium in the faeces and an assumed value for the apparent absorption coefficient. Estimates of radiocaesium intake, using these approaches, in lactating goats and adult sheep were used to calculate transfer coefficients for milk and muscle; these compared favourable with transfer coefficients previously obtained under controlled experimental conditions. Potential variations in bioavailability of dietary radiocaesium sources to forest ruminants have rarely been considered. Approaches that can be used to describe bioavailability, including the true absorption coefficient and in vitro extractability, are outlined.
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