Response of two Antarctic bryophytes to stratospheric ozone depletion

Newsham, K.K. ORCID:; Hodgson, D.A. ORCID:; Murray, A.W.A.; Peat, H.J. ORCID:; Smith, R.I. Lewis. 2002 Response of two Antarctic bryophytes to stratospheric ozone depletion. Global Change Biology, 8 (10). 972-983.

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We report a study which measured changes to the radiative environment arising from stratospheric O3 depletion at Rothera Point on the western Antarctic Peninsula (67°S, 68°W) and subsequent associations between these changes and the pigmentation and maximum quantum yield of photochemistry (Fv/Fm) of two Antarctic bryophytes, the liverwort Cephaloziella varians and the moss Sanionia uncinata. We found a strong relationship between O3 column depth and the ratio of UV-B to PAR irradiance (FUV-B/FPAR) recorded at ground level. Weaker, but significant, associations were also found between O3 column depth and noon irradiances and daily doses of unweighted and biologically effective UV-B radiation received at ground level. Regression analyses indicated that FUV-B/FPAR and daily dose of unweighted UV-B were best predictors for concentrations of total carotenoids and UV-B screening pigments extracted from bryophyte tissues. Concentrations of these pigments were loosely but significantly positively associated with O3-dependent irradiance parameters. HPLC analyses of carotenoids also suggested that both species increased the synthesis of neoxanthin during periods of O3 depletion. Violaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and b,bββ-carotene concentrations were also apparently influenced by O3 reduction, but not consistently across both bryophyte species. Concentrations of chlorophylls a and b were apparently unaffected by O3 depletion. No direct associations between Fv/Fm and O3-dependent irradiance parameters were found. However stepwise multiple regression analyses suggested that the production of UV-B screening pigments conferred protection from elevated FUV-B/FPAR on Fv/Fm in both species and that carotenoids conferred protection on Fv/Fm in Sanionia. Our data suggest that changes to the radiative environment associated with stratospheric O3 depletion influence the pigmentation of two Antarctic bryophytes, but that Fv/Fm is unaffected, at least in part because of rapid synthesis of protective pigments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Antarctic Biodiversity - Past, Present and Future
ISSN: 1354-1013
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 06 Feb 2009 10:15 +0 (UTC)

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