Ambient UV-B radiation decreases photosynthesis in high arctic Vaccinium uliginosum.

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UV-B-exclusion experiment was established in high arctic Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, to investigate the possible effects of ambient UV-B on plant performance. During almost a whole growing season, canopy gas exchange and Chl fluorescence were measured on Vaccinium uliginosum (bog blueberry). Leaf area, biomass, carbon, nitrogen and UV-B-absorbing compounds were determined from a late season harvest. Compared with the reduced UV-B treatment, the plants in ambient UV-B were found to have a higher content of UV-B-absorbing compounds, and canopy net photosynthesis was as an average 23% lower during the season. By means of the JIP-test, it was found that the potential of processing light energy through the photosynthetic machinery was slightly reduced in ambient UV-B. This indicates that not only the UV-B effects on PSII may be responsible for some of the observed reduction of photosynthesis but also the effects on other parts of the photosynthetic machinery, e.g. the Calvin cycle, might be important. The 60% reduction of the UV-B irradiance used in this study implies a higher relative change in the UV-B load than many of the supplemental experiments do, but the substantial effect on photosynthesis clearly indicates that V. uliginosum is negatively affected by the current level of UV-B.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum : An International Journal for Plant Biology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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