Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Butterfly Puddling: An Alternative Cs-137 Pathway to the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly Following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Public Deposited

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  • Environmental modeling as a result of the Fukushima accident has been at the forefront for present day health physics. The accident released radionuclides in the environment and the fate and transport of these radionuclides are of interest when considering doses to non-human biota. The Pale Grass Blue Butterfly was studied following the accident due to previous research and its abundance in rural and urban areas. The most studied pathways of exposure for the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly were the traditional ingestion and external pathways, but another potential exposure pathway is through the behavior of butterfly puddling. Butterfly puddling is a behavior of adult male butterflies to congregate around puddles to drink large amounts of water in order to concentrate the puddles dissolved nutrients, primarily sodium. The fluid passes through the males to adjust for low diet concentrations of sodium from plants. The concentrated sodium is then transferred to females as gifts during copulation and distributed to their eggs. As cesium and potassium have similar chemical properties because both are alkali metals, radiocesium may permeate biological sodium channels due to the same properties. This paper will entail a literature review of this concept, with a proposed butterfly egg dose to determine if it may have caused the researchers unconventional results.
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