A radioecological survey was carried out in several world areas and different contamination levels were assessed through biological monitoring of the territory. In fact, concentrations of 90Sr, 134Cs, 137Cs and 239,240pu were detected in some species of lichens and mosses collected in Italy, Scandinavia, Nepal and Antartica during the period 1986 - 1993. Major differences were observed between areas strongly influenced by the Chernobyl accident and other ones coming from extreme environments (Antarctica and Nepal). The usefulness of these sensitive species in radioecological studies has been demonstrated through the determination of anthropogenic radionuclides in areas long considered as unpolluted sites. In particular, a good correlation between 137Cs and altitude was also determined in the 1993 Italian samples (Parma province).
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