MEPS - Vol. 365 - Feature article

Ozone depletion over the Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent
areas on October 20, 1998. Star: location of ARSV
'Laurence M. Gould'.Image: NASA Ozone Hole Watch

Fritz JJ, Neale PJ, Davis RF,
Peloquin JA

 

Response of Antarctic phytoplankton to solar UVR exposure: inhibition and recovery of photosynthesis in coastal and pelagic assemblages

 

The ability to rapidly recover from ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced inhibition of photosynthesis has been observed to be either present or absent in Antarctic phytoplankton. Fritz and colleagues compared photosynthesis measurements to the predictions of previous models (rapid repair or no repair) and a model incorporating slow repair, applied for the first time to Antarctic waters. In general, open ocean phytoplankton were much more sensitive to UVR inhibition and responses followed the slow-repair model. In contrast, coastal assemblages had high rates of repair. This finding revises previous conclusions and demonstrates the need for repair rates to be included in assessments of photosynthetic response to UVR in the Southern Ocean, including effects of ozone depletion and vertical mixing in surface layers.

 

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