Polar Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 525–529 | Cite as

Response of rhizosphere microbial communities associated with Antarctic hairgrass ( Deschampsia antarctica) to UV radiation

Original Paper


The response of rhizosphere microbial communities associated with natural populations of Deschampsia antarctica growing on Léonie Island (67°36′S, 68°21′W, Antarctic Peninsula) to UV radiation was investigated. UV radiation was controlled in the field using Perspex VA screens (UV-B opaque) which transmit little radiation below 380 nm but allow penetration of approximately 92% of radiation above 400 nm, and Perspex OXO2 screens (UV-B transparent) which transmit approximately 70% of radiation at 280 nm, rising to 90% at 300 nm and above. Reducing ambient UV radiation altered the phenotypic profile of the rhizosphere microbial community. This alteration was expressed as enhanced carbohydrate and carboxylic acid utilisation by the rhizosphere micro-organisms. It is hypothesised that ambient levels of UV radiation indirectly affect rhizosphere micro-organisms by influencing the quality or quantity of root exudates.



We are grateful to Dr. P. Convey and A. Rossaak for collecting the field samples, Dr. H.J. Peat for providing the Bentham Spectroradiometer data, and Dr. S. Harangozo for providing meteorological data. Drs K.K. Newsham and A.H.L. Huiskes supplied useful comments on the manuscript for which we are grateful. Lisa Avery was in receipt of a University of Nottingham studentship whilst this work was undertaken.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Avery
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. I. Lewis Smith
    • 2
  • H. M. West
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK
  3. 3.School of Agricultural and Forest SciencesUniversity of WalesGwyneddUK

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