The translocation of caesium and silver by fungi in some Scottish soils

P Anderson, C M Davidson, D Littlejohn, A M Ure, C A Shand, M V Cheshire

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The caesium and silver content of the fruitbodies of fungi growing on some Scottish grassland sites have been measured. The distribution of caesium and silver in the soils has been measured and correlated with ergosterol as a measure of fungal biomass. Soil beneath individual fruitbodies and fairy rings was sampled from a clay loam, grassland site (Hogarth Park) in southwest Scotland, a sandy loam (Troon, southwest Scotland) and a peaty soil (Glensaugh, northeast Scotland). There is little or no information about the translocation of metals in soil by fairy ring fungi. Considerable variation in the ability of the fungi to translocate and accumulate the metals was observed. Cortinarius and Mycena Sp. and Suillus grevillei accumulated caesium and silver, whereas additionally Coprinus comatus, Entoloma Sp., Hygrocybe psittacina and Psathyrella Sp. accumulated silver. Clitocybe and Inocybe Sp., Lycoperdaceae and Marasmius oreades formed the fairy rings. Along diametric transects of each ring in most cases there were maxima in the ergosterol contents of the soil corresponding with the enhanced vegetative growth. There were also maxima in the caesium contents of the soil most of which corresponded to those of ergosterol. Site selection was an important factor in determination of the relationship between ergosterol and caesium. At a single site level of analysis a quantitative relationship between ergosterol and caesium was apparent only for one site, bur overall the enhancement was significantly linearly correlated implying translocation by the fungi had occurred. No correlations between ergosterol and silver contents was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-650
Number of pages16
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number6-8
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • fruitbodies
  • fungi
  • silver
  • Caesium


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