Radioecology - the branch of ecology that studies living organisms and their communities to the radiation effects of their environment. Radiation effects on the human body are created by the permanent background of natural radioactivity, and also due to artificial radiation sources in the big cities and industrial centers (see Doses of ionizing radiation, Cosmic radiation, Radioactivity).
Research in radioecology has allowed to establish that as a result of the different radiosensitivity of different species of plants and animals irradiation of natural biocenoses leads to significant shifts in community structure. Some species are replaced different, change interspecific and intraspecific relations. Changes the stability cenosis in relation to external conditions (heat, light, moisture). Some species of plants occur stimulation of development as a result of irradiation.
An important task of radioecology is exploring ways of migration of radioactive isotopes in the biosphere, as radioactive substances, including long-lived isotopes (strontium-90, cesium-137, carbon-14), moving on certain chains, such as soil - > plants → animals > man; water → aquatic organisms > people. You must install the quantitative regularities of the transition.
For solving problems of radioecology in a number of countries have established a special institutes or laboratories, symposiums on problems of radioecology, published magazines, etc.