Some Thoughts on UV Action Spectra

  • Martyn M. Caldwell
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 7)


A very convincing case for the pivotal role of action spectra in assessing potential consequences of ozone reduction has been made (e.g., National Academy of Sciences 1979, Nachtwey and Rundel 1981, Caldwell 1981) and Smith and coworkers (Smith et al. 1980, Smith and Baker 1980) have applied this very appropriately in the case of photoinhibition of marine phytoplankton. Their data of short term photoinhibition of plankton under various combinations of polychromatic radiation are basically consistent with an action spectrum developed by Jones and Kok (1966) for the photoinhibition of isolated spinach chloroplasts. Since they have recently presented this information in the literature, as well as further consideration in this volume, it would be pointless for me to describe their experiments. Instead, I would like to offer a few comments on the importance of action spectra in assessment of the consequences of ozone reduction, the use of polychromatic radiation in determining action spectra, the nature of photoinhibition, and finally, a few comments on the limitations in the employment of many action spectra for ecological purposes.


Action Spectrum Spectral Irradiance Atmospheric Ozone Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient Ozone Reduction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martyn M. Caldwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Range Science and the Ecology CenterUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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