Population status and fruit safety assessment of Elaeagnus rhamnoides (L.) A. Nelson (Elaeagnaceae Lindl.) in Kazakhstan
The article presents the results of studies on the current status of populations and the safety of fruits of Elaeagnus rhamnoides (L.) A. Nelson (E. rhamnoides) growing in Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan. During expeditions in 2017-2018, we identified environmental factors affecting natural phytocenoses of sea buckthorn in the surveyed areas. We have determined the population examined in Northern Kazakhstan (Kokshetau Upland) to be adventive and successfully established during the virgin land development period. The population is stable, intensively dispersing within new habitats. The Eastern Kazakhstan population is in a distressed state, while it is still unclear where the population originated from. The reason for the stress include strong damage of young shoots and leaves by fungal diseases, cattle grazing, and felling. In the areas where sea buckthorns grow, we examined the radiation gamma background within all study sites noted at a level of up to 0.17 μSv/h. The results of atomic absorption spectroscopy showed that the amount of toxicants of Class 1 (cadmium, arsenic, mercury, lead), Class 2 (cobalt, copper), or of weak toxicity (manganese) in sea buckthorn fruits does not exceed the maximum permissible concentration levels in all samples. Gamma-spectrometric analysis of the radionuclides concentration (11.3-14.1 Bq/kg for 90Sr, 3.5-4.7 Bq/kg for 137Cs) in sea buckthorn fruits showed levels below the threshold limit value. Monitoring of food safety of E. rhamnoides fruits in the Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan forests showed the levels of the toxicants studied to be below the maximum permissible levels. The results of the research conducted allow us to recommend sea buckthorn fruits for use in food, medicinal, and economic purposes.