Six years of solar UV-B manipulations affect growth of Sphagnum and vascular plants in a Tierra del Fuego peatland

T. Matthew Robson, Verónica A. Pancotto, Stephan D. Flint, Carlos L. Ballaré, Osvaldo E. Sala, Ana L. Scopel, Martyn M. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

• Tierra del Fuego is subject to increases in solar UV-B radiation in the austral spring and summer due to ozone depletion. • Plastic films were used to filter solar UV-B radiation over peatland plots through six field seasons, resulting in near-ambient (c. 90%) and reduced (c. 17%) solar UV-B treatments. • As in the first three field seasons of treatments, near-ambient UV-B caused reduced height growth but had no effect on biomass production of the moss Sphagnum magellanicum. It reduced leaf and rhizome growth of Tetroncium magellanicum. Height growth and morphology of Empetrum rubrum and Nothofagus antarctica were only affected by solar UV-B during the fourth to sixth field seasons. There was also a decrease in Tetroncium leaf nitrogen under near-ambient UV-B. • Growth of Sphagnum was less affected than that of most emergent vascular plants. This enabled the Sphagnum mat to engulf more Nothofagus, and limit the escape of Empetrum under near-ambient UV-B. Yet, differences in the response of species to solar UV-B were not expressed as changes in plant community composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-389
Number of pages11
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume160
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Long-term ecological study
  • Ozone depletion
  • Peatland
  • Plant community
  • Sphagnum
  • Tierra del Fuego
  • UV-B radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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