Mini UV lamps were installed over antarctic plants at Leonie Island, Antarctic peninsula, and shoot length measurements of Deschampsia antarctica were performed during the austral summer January-February 1999. We studied the response of the antarctic hairgrass, Deschampsia antarctica to enhanced UV-B. In a climate room experiment we exposed tillers of Deschampsia antarctica, collected at Leonie Island, Antarctic peninsula, to ambient and enhanced levels of UV-B radiation. In this climate room experiment with 0, 2.5 and 5 kJ m(-2) day(-1) UV-B-BE treatments we observed that length growth of shoots at 2.5 and 5 kJ m(-2) day(-1) UV-B-BE was markedly reduced compared to 0 kJ m(-2) day(-1) UV-B-BE. In addition, there was an increased number of shoots and increased leaf thickness with enhanced UV- B. The Relative Growth Rate (RGR) was not affected by UV-B, possibly because reduced shoot length growth by enhanced UV-B was compensated by increased tillering. Light response curves of net leaf photosynthesis of plants exposed to 5 kJ m(-2) day(-)1 UV-BBE did not differ from those exposed to 0 kJ m(-)2 day(-1) UV-B-BE. The content of UV-B absorbing compounds of plants exposed to increasing UV-B did not significantly change. Mini UV-B lamp systems were installed in the field, to expose the terrestrial antarctic vegetation at Leonie Island to enhanced solar UV-B. In that study, the increment of shoot length of tagged plants of Deschampsia antarctica during the January-February 1999 at Leonie Island, was recorded and compared to shoot length growth under controlled conditions. The consequences of enhanced UV-B radiation as a result of ozone depletion for the terrestrial antarctic ecosytems are discussed. [KEYWORDS: Antarctica; climate change; Deschampsia antarctica; ecosystem; ozone depletion; UV-B; UV-B supplementation Solar ultraviolet-radiation; vascular plants; earths surface;dna-damage; photosynthesis; growth; reproduction; phytoplankton; temperature; peninsula]
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Ecology
Journal publication date2001

ID: 218508