Outdoor studies on the effects of solar UV-B on bryophytes: Overview and methodology

Boelen, P., de Boer, M. K., de Bakker, N. & Rozema, J., Jan-2006, In : Plant ecology. 182, 1, p. 137-152 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

In this review all recent field studies on the effects of UV-B radiation on bryophytes are discussed. In most of the studies fluorescent UV-B tubes are used to expose the vegetation to enhanced levels of UV-B radiation to simulate stratospheric ozone depletion. Other studies use screens to filter the UV-B part of the solar spectrum, thereby comparing ambient levels of UV-B with reduced UV-B levels, or analyse effects of natural variations in UV-B arising from stratospheric ozone depletion. Nearly all studies show that mosses are well adapted to ambient levels of UV-B radiation since UV-B hardly affects growth parameters. In contrast with outdoor studies on higher plants, soluble UV-B absorbing compounds in bryophytes are typically not induced by enhanced levels of UV-B radiation. A few studies have demonstrated that UV-B radiation can influence plant morphology, photosynthetic capacity, photosynthetic pigments or levels of DNA damage. However, there is only a limited number of outdoor studies presented in the literature. More additional, especially long-term, experiments are needed to provide better data for statistical meta-analyses. A mini UV-B supplementation system is described, especially designed to study effects of UV-B radiation at remote field locations under harsh conditions, and which is therefore suited to perform long-term studies in the Arctic or Antarctic. The first results are presented from a long-term UV-B supplementation experiment at Signy Island in the Maritime Antarctic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-152
Number of pages16
JournalPlant ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2006


  • Antarctic, Arctic, bryophytes, Chorisodontium aciplyllum, cyclobutane Pyrimidine dimers, DNA damage, mosses, ozone depletion, Polytrichum strictum, Sanionia uncinata, terrestrial polar ecosystems, ultraviolet-B radiation, UV-B exposure systems, UVBR, Warnstorfia sarmentosa, STRATOSPHERIC OZONE DEPLETION, TIERRA-DEL-FUEGO, SUB-ARCTIC HEATH, SIMULATED CLIMATE-CHANGE, UNCINATA HEDW. LOESKE, ULTRAVIOLET-RADIATION, HIGHER-PLANTS, TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS, OXIDATIVE STRESS, GLOBAL CHANGE

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