The effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on physiological activity and growth of Norway spruce planted outdoors over 5 years

Authors: Trošt Sedej, Tadeja1; Gaberščik, Alenka2

Source: Trees, Volume 22, Number 4, August 2008 , pp. 423-435(13)

Publisher: Springer

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The responses of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] to enhanced UV-B radiation during the 5-year treatment performed outdoors have been subjected to ecophysiological and growth analysis. The plants were exposed to UV-B radiation, simulating 17% ozone depletion. Ecophysiological parameters were monitored three times a year on three needle age classes, while growth was analysed at the end of each growth season. Spruce exhibited great variability in the amounts of photosynthetic pigments and methanol-soluble UV-B absorbing compounds, light use efficiency, photosynthesis and respiratory potential. The needle, branch and plant biomass production was not significantly affected during the 5-year treatment. The repeated-measures procedure comparing growth parameters through subsequent seasons, revealed a decrease of branch diameter under enhanced UV-B, which could be interpreted as a cumulative UV-B effect. The effects of UV-B radiation depended on needle development stage, interaction with environmental conditions and stresses. A reduced negative effect of UV-B radiation was observed during the prolonged drought in 2003, which was hypothesised as an alleviating effect. The tolerance of Norway spruce to elevated UV-B was to a large extent due to the high content of methanol-soluble UV-B absorbing compounds that was related neither to environmental conditions, including UV-B dose, nor to the developmental stage of the needles. The current year needles exhibited a tendency to increased production of UV-B absorbing compounds under elevated UV-B radiation. The outdoor study performed under variable environmental conditions showed great complexity of spruce response to enhanced UV-B.

Keywords: Ecophysiology; Growth; Long-term field experiment; Norway spruce; UV-B radiation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Deptartment of Biology, University of Ljubljana, BF, Večna pot 111, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Email: 2: Deptartment of Biology, University of Ljubljana, BF, Večna pot 111, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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