Effects of Multipollutant Exposures on Plant Populations

Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series book series (NAPSC)

Results of laboratory, “green-house” and long-term field experiments carried out on different plant species to study ecotoxical effects of low doses and concentrations of most common environmental pollutants are presented. Special attention is paid to ecotoxic effects of chronic low dose exposures, synergistic and antagonistic effects of multipollutant exposure. Plant populations growing in areas with relatively low levels of pollution are characterized by the increased level of both cytogenetic disturbances and genetic diversity. The chronic low dose exposure appears to be an ecological factor creating preconditions for possible changes in the genetic structure of a population. A long-term existence of some factors (either of natural origin or man-made) in the plants environment activates genetic mechanisms, changing a population’s resistance to exposure. However, in different radioecological situations, genetic adaptation of plant populations to extreme edaphic conditions could be achieved at different rates. The findings presented indicate clearly that an adequate environment quality assessment cannot rely only on information about pollutant concentrations. This conclusion emphasizes the need to update some current principles of ecological standardization, which are still in use today.Keywords: radioactive and chemical contamination; multipollutant exposure; bioindication; plant populations; environment quality assessment


Aberrant Cell Root Meristem Cell Intercalary Meristem Environment Quality Assessment Chromosome Aberration Frequency 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Russian Institute of Agricultural Radiology and AgroecologyKievskoe shosseRussia
  2. 2.Ural Division RASInstitute of Biology, Komi Scientific CenterRussia

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