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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d96jan21

"UV-B Increases the Harvest Index of Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), G. Deckmyn (Lab. Plant Ecol., Univ. Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belg.), I. Impens, Plant, Cell & Environ., 18(12), 1426-1433, Dec. 1995.

Studied the effects of small changes in natural UV-B on the photosynthesis, pigmentation, flowering and yield of bean plants grown in small, half-open greenhouses of UV-transmitting Plexiglass of different thicknesses. Reduction in leaf area during the period of vegetative growth resulted in decreased dry weight after 57 days, but during the subsequent flowering and pod-filling stages, plants at high UV-B retained their photosynthetic capacity longer. Combined with other changes, plants under increased UV-B ended up with a small increase in yield and an important increase in harvest index.

Item #d96jan22

"What Role Does UV-B Radiation Play in Freshwater Ecosystems?" C.E. Williamson (Dept. Earth & Environ. Sci., Lehigh Univ., 31 Williams Dr., Bethlehem PA 18015), Limnol. & Oceanog., 40(2), 386-392, Mar. 1995.

Increases in incident UV-B radiation is potentially important in aquatic ecosystems because of the high sensitivity of living organisms, but research to date has focused largely on marine ecosystems in Antarctica. This review addresses the potential role of UV-B radiation in fresh waters by taking into account some of the information available in marine systems and applying recent advances in our understanding of the ecology of fresh waters. The overriding conclusion is the potential for complex rather than simple responses in freshwater ecosystems. Responses are also likely to be related to other important environmental changes. These factors make the ecology of UV-B radiation in fresh waters a fertile area for research regardless of future changes in UV-B radiation.

Item #d96jan23

"A Survey of Ultraviolet-B Radiation in Forests," M.J. Brown, G.G. Parker (Smithsonian Environ. Res. Ctr., POB 28, Edgewater MD 21037), N.E. Posner, J. Ecol., 82(4), 843-854, Dec. 1994.

Examines how forest canopies transmit UV-B through different levels, at different times of day and in different seasons, using primarily measurements made in a Maryland forest. Combines this information with an existing model of atmospheric transmission of UV-B to estimate present and future exposures assuming a decline in stratospheric ozone. The greatest increases in exposure should appear in the upper canopy in summer, and in the lower canopy in spring. Discusses how increased UV-B could lead to a shift in the relative abundance of particular hardwood and softwood species in the southeastern U.S. Whether or not increased UV-B leads to environmental catastrophe, it seems quite possible that it could change entire communities.

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