Adverse Effects of UV‑B Radiation on Plants Growing at Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica


Affiliations

  • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the impacts of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation over a 28-day period on the levels of pigments of Umbilicaria aprina and Bryum argenteum growing in field. The depletion of stratospheric ozone is most prominent over Antarctica, which receives more UV‑B radiation than most other parts of the planet. Although UV‑B radiation adversely affects all flora, Antarctic plants are better equipped to survive the damaging effects of UV‑B owing to defenses provided by UV‑B absorbing compounds and other screening pigments. The UV-B radiations and daily average ozone values were measured by sun photometer and the photosynthetic pigments were analyzed by the standard spectrophotometric methods of exposed and unexposed selected plants. The daily average atmospheric ozone values were recorded from 5 January to 2 February 2008. The maximum daily average for ozone (310.7 Dobson Units (DU)) was recorded on 10 January 2008. On that day, average UV‑B spectral irradiances were 0.016, 0.071, and 0.186 W m −2 at wavelengths of 305, 312, and 320 nm, respectively. The minimum daily average ozone value (278.6 DU) was recorded on 31 January 2008. On that day, average UV‑B spectral irradiances were 0.018, 0.085, and 0.210 W m −2 at wavelengths of 305, 312, and 320 nm, respectively. Our results concludes that following prolonged UV-B exposure, total chlorophyll levels decreased gradually in both species, whereas levels of UV-B absorbing compounds, phenolics, and carotenoids gradually increased.

Keywords

Carotenoids, phenolics, total chlorophyll, UV‑B absorbing compounds, UV‑B radiation

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