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Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 17–23 | Cite as

The effect of UV-B radiation on photosynthesis and respiration of phytoplankton, benthic macroalgae and seagrasses

  • A. W. D. Larkum
  • W. F. Wood
Regular Paper

Abstract

Several species of marine benthic algae, four species of phytoplankton and two species of seagrass have been subjected to ultraviolet B irradiation for varying lengths of time and the effects on respiration, photosynthesis and fluorescence rise kinetics studied. No effect on respiration was found. Photosynthesis was inhibited to a variable degree in all groups of plants after irradiation over periods of up to 1 h and variable fluorescence was also inhibited in a similar way. The most sensitive plants were phytoplankton and deep-water benthic algae. Intertidal benthic algae were the least sensitive to UV-B irradiation and this may be related to adaptation, through the accumulation of UV-B screening compounds, to high light/high UV-B levels. Inhibition of variable fluorescence (Fv) of the fluorescence rise curve was a fast and sensitive indicator of UV-B damage. Two plants studied, a brown alga and a seagrass, showed very poor recovery of Fv over a period of 32 h.

Key words

oxygen evolution UV screening compounds variable fluorescence 

Abbreviations

Fm-

fluorescence yield with reaction centres closed

Fo-

fluorescence yield with reaction centres open

Fv-

variable fluorescence

PAR-

photosynthetically active radiation

P680-

primary donor of Photosystem II

O-

primary quencher of Photosystem II

QA-

primary quinone acceptor of Photosystem II

UV-B-

ultraviolet B

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. D. Larkum
    • 1
  • W. F. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneyAustralia

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