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Effects of UV-B radiation on photosynthesis and growth of terrestrial plants

Abstract

The photosynthetic apparatus of some plant species appears to be well-protected from direct damage from UV-B radiation. Leaf optical properties of these species apparently minimizes exposure of sensitive targets to UV-B radiation. However, damage by UV-B radiation to Photosystem II and Rubisco has also been reported. Secondary effects of this damage may include reductions in photosynthetic capacity, RuBP regeneration and quantum yield. Furthermore, UV-B radiation may decrease the penetration of PAR, reduce photosynthetic and accessory pigments, impair stomatal function and alter canopy morphology, and thus indirectly retard photosynthetic carbon assimilation. Subsequently, UV-B radiation may limit productivity in many plant species. In addition to variability in sensitivity to UV-B radiation, the effects of UV-B radiation are further confounded by other environmental factors such as CO2, temperature, light and water or nutrient availability. Therefore, we need a better understanding of the mechanisms of tolerance to UV-B radiation and of the interaction between UV-B and other environmental factors in order to adequately assess the probable consequences of a change in solar radiation.

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Abbreviations

Amax :

light and CO2 saturated rate of oxygen evolution

Ci:

internal CO2 concentration

Fv/Fm :

ratio of variable to total fluorescence yield

PAR:

photosynthetically active radiation (400–700 nm)

PS II:

Photosystem II

Φapp :

apparent quantum yield of photosynthesis

SLW:

specific leaf weight

UV-B:

ultraviolet-B radiation between 290–320 nm

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Teramura, A.H., Sullivan, J.H. Effects of UV-B radiation on photosynthesis and growth of terrestrial plants. Photosynth Res 39, 463–473 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00014599

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Key words

  • global climate change
  • ozone depletion
  • photosynthesis
  • Photosystem II
  • productivity
  • UV-B radiation