The significant impact of enhanced UV-B radiation on Antarctic marine
organisms has been widely recognized. So far studies on Antarctic
terrestrial organisms are few.
The aim of the project is to determine how cryptogams and
phanerogams (terrestrial algae, lichens mosses, the grass Deschampsia
antarctica) in Antarctic coastal habitats respond to Global
Environmental Change (especially UV-B ... radiation).
The project comprises three parts:
a. Monitoring changing environmental conditions - with
particular emphasis on ultraviolet - and photosynthetically active
radiation and temperature - in an area beneath the spring Antarctic
ozone 'hole', by establishing a measuring station able to measure
these environ-mental parameters over prolonged periods (5 years or
b. Monitoring possible changes in Antarctic coastal vegetation
by selective exclusion of UV - B form the natural irradiation and
increased temperature in comparison with the vegetation under natural
circumstances over prolonged periods (> 10 years);
c. Investigate the ability of selected species to maintain
physiological performance under increased stress (UV - B, and
integrate the results of whole organism data with other investigations
on biochemistry and cellular physiology. This third part will comprise
measurements of the photosynthetic activity and biochemistry of
selected species in the field and laboratory experiments on the same
species in a controlled environment.