Publications by authors named "Sharon A Robinson"

48 Publications

The success of the Montreal Protocol in mitigating interactive effects of stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change on the environment.

Glob Chang Biol 2021 Aug 15. Epub 2021 Aug 15.

Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future, Global Challenges Program & School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments have been highly effective in protecting the stratospheric ozone layer, preventing global increases in solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B; 280-315 nm) at Earth's surface, and reducing global warming. While ongoing and projected changes in UV-B radiation and climate still pose a threat to human health, food security, air and water quality, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and construction materials and fabrics, the Montreal Protocol continues to play a critical role in protecting Earth's inhabitants and ecosystems by addressing many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15841DOI Listing
August 2021

One hundred research questions in conservation physiology for generating actionable evidence to inform conservation policy and practice.

Conserv Physiol 2021 7;9(1):coab009. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.

Environmental change and biodiversity loss are but two of the complex challenges facing conservation practitioners and policy makers. Relevant and robust scientific knowledge is critical for providing decision-makers with the actionable evidence needed to inform conservation decisions. In the Anthropocene, science that leads to meaningful improvements in biodiversity conservation, restoration and management is desperately needed. Conservation Physiology has emerged as a discipline that is well-positioned to identify the mechanisms underpinning population declines, predict responses to environmental change and test different and conservation interventions for diverse taxa and ecosystems. Here we present a consensus list of 10 priority research themes. Within each theme we identify specific research questions (100 in total), answers to which will address conservation problems and should improve the management of biological resources. The themes frame a set of research questions related to the following: (i) adaptation and phenotypic plasticity; (ii) human-induced environmental change; (iii) human-wildlife interactions; (iv) invasive species; (v) methods, biomarkers and monitoring; (vi) policy, engagement and communication; (vii) pollution; (viii) restoration actions; (ix) threatened species; and (x) urban systems. The themes and questions will hopefully guide and inspire researchers while also helping to demonstrate to practitioners and policy makers the many ways in which physiology can help to support their decisions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/conphys/coab009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035967PMC
April 2021

Inhibition of non-photochemical quenching increases functional absorption cross-section of photosystem II as excitation from closed reaction centres is transferred to open centres, facilitating earlier light saturation of photosynthetic electron transport.

Funct Plant Biol 2021 Mar 12. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Induction of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence in leaves affords photoprotection to the photosynthetic apparatus when, for whatever reason, photon capture in the antennae of photosystems exceeds their capacity to utilise this excitation in photochemistry and ultimately in CO2 assimilation. Here we augment traditional monitoring of NPQ using the fast time resolution, remote and relatively non-intrusive light induced fluorescence transient (LIFT) technique (Kolber et al. 2005; Osmond et al. 2017) that allows direct measurement of functional (σ'PSII) and optical cross-sections (a'PSII) of PSII in situ, and calculates the half saturation light intensity for ETR (Ek). These parameters are obtained from the saturation and relaxation phases of fluorescence transients elicited by a sequence of 270, high intensity 1 μs flashlets at controlled time intervals over a period of 30 ms in the QA flash at intervals of a few seconds. We report that although σ'PSII undergoes large transient increases after transfer from dark to strong white light (WL) it declines little in steady-state as NPQ is induced in shade- and sun-grown spinach and Arabidopsis genotypes Col, OEpsbs, pgr5bkg, stn7 and stn7/8. In contrast, σ'PSII increases by ~30% when induction of NPQ in spinach is inhibited by dithiothreitol and by inhibition of NPQ in Arabidopsis npq1, npq4 and pgr5. We propose this increase in σ'PSII arises as some excitation from closed PSII reaction centres is transferred to open centres when excitation partitioning to photochemistry (YII) and NPQ (YNP) declines, and is indicated by an increased excitation dissipation from closed PSII centres (YNO, including fluorescence emission). Although Ek increases following dissipation of excitation as heat when NPQ is engaged, it declines when NPQ is inhibited. Evidently photochemistry becomes more easily light saturated when excitation is transferred from closed RCIIs to open centres with larger σ'PSII. The NPQ mutant pgr5 is an exception; Ek increases markedly in strong light as electron transport QA → PQ and PQ → PSI accelerate and the PQ pool becomes strongly reduced. These novel in situ observations are discussed in the context of contemporary evidence for functional and structural changes in the photosynthetic apparatus during induction of NPQ.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP20347DOI Listing
March 2021

Combating ecosystem collapse from the tropics to the Antarctic.

Glob Chang Biol 2021 05 25;27(9):1692-1703. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic., Australia.

Globally, collapse of ecosystems-potentially irreversible change to ecosystem structure, composition and function-imperils biodiversity, human health and well-being. We examine the current state and recent trajectories of 19 ecosystems, spanning 58° of latitude across 7.7 M km , from Australia's coral reefs to terrestrial Antarctica. Pressures from global climate change and regional human impacts, occurring as chronic 'presses' and/or acute 'pulses', drive ecosystem collapse. Ecosystem responses to 5-17 pressures were categorised as four collapse profiles-abrupt, smooth, stepped and fluctuating. The manifestation of widespread ecosystem collapse is a stark warning of the necessity to take action. We present a three-step assessment and management framework (3As Pathway Awareness, Anticipation and Action) to aid strategic and effective mitigation to alleviate further degradation to help secure our future.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15539DOI Listing
May 2021

Latitudinal Biogeographic Structuring in the Globally Distributed Moss .

Front Plant Sci 2020 28;11:502359. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Ecosystems Team, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Biogeographic patterns of globally widespread species are expected to reflect regional structure, as well as connectivity caused by occasional long-distance dispersal. We assessed the level and drivers of population structure, connectivity, and timescales of population isolation in one of the most widespread and ruderal plants in the world - the common moss . We applied phylogenetic, population genetic, and molecular dating analyses to a global (n = 147) sampling data set, using three chloroplast loci and one nuclear locus. The plastid data revealed several distinct and geographically structured lineages, with connectivity patterns associated with worldwide, latitudinal "bands." These imply that connectivity is strongly influenced by global atmospheric circulation patterns, with dispersal and establishment beyond these latitudinal bands less common. Biogeographic patterns were less clear within the nuclear marker, with gene duplication likely hindering the detection of these. Divergence time analyses indicated that the current matrilineal population structure in has developed over the past six million years, with lineages diverging during the late Miocene, Pliocene, and Quaternary. Several colonization events in the Antarctic were apparent, as well as one old and distinct Antarctic clade, possibly isolated on the continent since the Pliocene. As is considered a model organism, the matrilineal biogeographic structure identified here provides a useful framework for future genetic and developmental studies on bryophytes. Our general findings may also be relevant to understanding global environmental influences on the biogeography of other organisms with microscopic propagules (e.g., spores) dispersed by wind.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.502359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7484499PMC
August 2020

It Is Hot in the Sun: Antarctic Mosses Have High Temperature Optima for Photosynthesis Despite Cold Climate.

Front Plant Sci 2020 7;11:1178. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

The terrestrial flora of Antarctica's frozen continent is restricted to sparse ice-free areas and dominated by lichens and bryophytes. These plants frequently battle sub-zero temperatures, extreme winds and reduced water availability; all influencing their ability to survive and grow. Antarctic mosses, however, can have canopy temperatures well above air temperature. At midday, canopy temperatures can exceed 15°C, depending on moss turf water content. In this study, the optimum temperature of photosynthesis was determined for six Antarctic moss species: , , , , , and collected from King George Island (maritime Antarctica) and/or the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica. Both chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange showed maximum values of electron transport rate occurred at canopy temperatures higher than 20°C. The optimum temperature for both net assimilation of CO and photoprotective heat dissipation of three East Antarctic species was 20-30°C and at temperatures below 10°C, mesophyll conductance did not significantly differ from 0. Maximum mitochondrial respiration rates occurred at temperatures higher than 35°C and were lower by around 80% at 5°C. Despite the extreme cold conditions that Antarctic mosses face over winter, the photosynthetic apparatus appears optimised to warm temperatures. Our estimation of the total carbon balance suggests that survival in this cold environment may rely on a capacity to maximize photosynthesis for brief periods during summer and minimize respiratory carbon losses in cold conditions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.01178DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7457050PMC
August 2020

UV-B and Drought Stress Influenced Growth and Cellular Compounds of Two Cultivars of Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Fabaceae).

Photochem Photobiol 2021 01 5;97(1):166-179. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Department of Botany, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Combined enhanced UV-B radiation and drought may induce different morphological and physiological alterations in plants than either abiotic stress alone. We evaluated morphology, biomass, and primary and secondary metabolism changes in seedlings of two common bean cultivars, IAC Imperador (drought-resistant) and IAC Milênio. To test the hypothesis that cultivars responded differently to combined stresses in a controlled environment, seedlings of the examined been cultivars were exposed to UV-B and/or drought treatments for three weeks. The cultivars behaved differently, especially to the drought treatment, suggesting that they use different mechanisms to cope with unfavorable environmental conditions. IAC Imperador showed a stronger protective response, modifying wax composition and primary metabolism, and improving its resistance to UV-B radiation. For IAC Imperador, the accumulation of cuticular wax and alkane was higher under combined stress but production of primary alcohols was reduced, suggesting a possible fatty acyl switch. Root/shoot length and biomass ratios increased in both cultivars, particularly for the combined stress, indicating a common plant response. We show that these two bean cultivars responded more strongly to UV-B and combined stress than drought alone as evident in changes to their chemistry and biology. This shows the importance of investigating plant morphological and physiological responses to combined stress.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/php.13318DOI Listing
January 2021

Semi-Automated Analysis of Digital Photographs for Monitoring East Antarctic Vegetation.

Front Plant Sci 2020 9;11:766. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Climate change is affecting Antarctica and minimally destructive long-term monitoring of its unique ecosystems is vital to detect biodiversity trends, and to understand how change is affecting these communities. The use of automated or semi-automated methods is especially valuable in harsh polar environments, as access is limited and conditions extreme. We assessed moss health and cover at six time points between 2003 and 2014 at two East Antarctic sites. Semi-automatic object-based image analysis (OBIA) was used to classify digital photographs using a set of rules based on digital red, green, blue (RGB) and hue-saturation-intensity (HSI) value thresholds, assigning vegetation to categories of healthy, stressed or moribund moss and lichens. Comparison with traditional visual estimates showed that estimates of percent cover using semi-automated OBIA classification fell within the range of variation determined by visual methods. Overall moss health, as assessed using the mean percentages of healthy, stressed and moribund mosses within quadrats, changed over the 11 years at both sites. A marked increase in stress and decline in health was observed across both sites in 2008, followed by recovery to baseline levels of health by 2014 at one site, but with significantly more stressed or moribund moss remaining within the two communities at the other site. Our results confirm that vegetation cover can be reliably estimated using semi-automated OBIA, providing similar accuracy to visual estimation by experts. The resulting vegetation cover estimates provide a sensitive measure to assess change in vegetation health over time and have informed a conceptual framework for the changing condition of Antarctic mosses. In demonstrating that this method can be used to monitor ground cover vegetation at small scales, we suggest it may also be suitable for other extreme environments where repeat monitoring via images is required.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00766DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7296125PMC
June 2020

Reframing conservation physiology to be more inclusive, integrative, relevant and forward-looking: reflections and a horizon scan.

Conserv Physiol 2020 4;8(1):coaa016. Epub 2020 Apr 4.

Department of Animal Science, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave. Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

Applying physiological tools, knowledge and concepts to understand conservation problems (i.e. conservation physiology) has become commonplace and confers an ability to understand mechanistic processes, develop predictive models and identify cause-and-effect relationships. Conservation physiology is making contributions to conservation solutions; the number of 'success stories' is growing, but there remain unexplored opportunities for which conservation physiology shows immense promise and has the potential to contribute to major advances in protecting and restoring biodiversity. Here, we consider how conservation physiology has evolved with a focus on reframing the discipline to be more inclusive and integrative. Using a 'horizon scan', we further explore ways in which conservation physiology can be more relevant to pressing conservation issues of today (e.g. addressing the Sustainable Development Goals; delivering science to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration), as well as more forward-looking to inform emerging issues and policies for tomorrow. Our horizon scan provides evidence that, as the discipline of conservation physiology continues to mature, it provides a wealth of opportunities to promote integration, inclusivity and forward-thinking goals that contribute to achieving conservation gains. To advance environmental management and ecosystem restoration, we need to ensure that the underlying science (such as that generated by conservation physiology) is relevant with accompanying messaging that is straightforward and accessible to end users.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/conphys/coaa016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7125050PMC
April 2020

The 2019/2020 summer of Antarctic heatwaves.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 06 30;26(6):3178-3180. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Life Sciences & Global Challenges Program, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

This summer, a heatwave across Antarctica saw temperatures soar above average. Temperatures above zero are especially significant because they accelerate ice melt. Casey Station had its highest temperature ever, reaching a maximum of 9.2°C and minimum of 2.5°C. The highest temperature in Antarctica was 20.75°C on 9 February. Here we discuss the biological implications of such extreme events.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15083DOI Listing
June 2020

Probing functional and optical cross-sections of PSII in leaves during state transitions using fast repetition rate light induced fluorescence transients.

Funct Plant Biol 2019 06;46(6):567-583

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

Plants adjust the relative sizes of PSII and PSI antennae in response to the spectral composition of weak light favouring either photosystem by processes known as state transitions (ST), attributed to a discrete antenna migration involving phosphorylation of light-harvesting chlorophyll-protein complexes in PSII. Here for the first time we monitored the extent and dynamics of ST in leaves from estimates of optical absorption cross-section (relative PSII antenna size; aPSII). These estimates were obtained from in situ measurements of functional absorption cross-section (σPSII) and maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII (φPSII); i.e. aPSII = σPSII/φPSII (Kolber et al. 1998) and other parameters from a light induced fluorescence transient (LIFT) device (Osmond et al. 2017). The fast repetition rate (FRR) QA flash protocol of this instrument monitors chlorophyll fluorescence yields with reduced QA irrespective of the redox state of plastoquinone (PQ), as well as during strong ~1 s white light pulses that fully reduce the PQ pool. Fitting this transient with the FRR model monitors kinetics of PSII → PQ, PQ → PSI, and the redox state of the PQ pool in the 'PQ pool control loop' that underpins ST, with a time resolution of a few seconds. All LIFT/FRR criteria confirmed the absence of ST in antenna mutant chlorina-f2 of barley and asLhcb2-12 of Arabidopsis, as well as STN7 kinase mutants stn7 and stn7/8. In contrast, wild-type barley and Arabidopsis genotypes Col, npq1, npq4, OEpsbs, pgr5 bkg and pgr5, showed normal ST. However, the extent of ST (and by implication the size of the phosphorylated LHCII pool participating in ST) deduced from changes in a'PSII and other parameters with reduced QA range up to 35%. Estimates from strong WL pulses in the same assay were only ~10%. The larger estimates of ST from the QA flash are discussed in the context of contemporary dynamic structural models of ST involving formation and participation of PSII and PSI megacomplexes in an 'energetically connected lake' of phosphorylated LHCII trimers (Grieco et al. 2015). Despite the absence of ST, asLhcb2-12 displays normal wild-type modulation of electron transport rate (ETR) and the PQ pool during ST assays, reflecting compensatory changes in antenna LHCIIs in this genotype. Impaired LHCII phosphorylation in stn7 and stn7/8 accelerates ETR from PSII →PQ, over-reducing the PQ pool and abolishing the yield difference between the QA flash and WL pulse, with implications for photochemical and thermal phases of the O-J-I-P transient.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP18054DOI Listing
June 2019

Friends with benefits: The effects of vegetative shading on plant survival in a green roof environment.

PLoS One 2019 14;14(11):e0225078. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Green roofs help ameliorate some of the adverse social, economic and environmental effects of urbanisation. However, green roofs are harsh environments for plants, as they must cope with shallow soils, low nutrient availability, high solar radiation, low water availability and high pollution/disturbances. The effect of shade plants on vegetation survivability was investigated using green roof mesocosms with four different native species pairs (shade plant and a target ground cover plant). To examine the effect of shading and competition on plant growth and survival, plant pairs were subjected to four treatments; naturally shaded with a shade plant shading the target plant, artificially shaded with an artificial plant shading the target plant, unshaded natural which had a trimmed shade plant providing no shade to the target plant and an unshaded treatment with the target plant being the sole occupant of the mesocosm. The experiment ran for 11 months with measurements taken monthly to record growth and visual health of the target plant. Soil moisture and biomass data was collected at the end of the experiment. Overall, natural shade treated plants had the highest biomass while unshaded plants had the lowest biomass. Contrary to our predictions, the shaded artificial and the unshaded natural had similar moderate biomass. This similarity suggests that while shading had a positive influence on plant growth, there was also a positive influence of growing with a shade plant which is not accounted for by shading. The results highlight the complexity of biotic relations between plants and emphasises that the presence of a nurse plants can be benefit to the survival and growth of other species within a green roof ecosystem.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225078PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6855490PMC
March 2020

The interactive effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change on aquatic ecosystems.

Photochem Photobiol Sci 2019 Mar 27;18(3):717-746. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

CIESIN, Columbia University, New Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

This assessment summarises the current state of knowledge on the interactive effects of ozone depletion and climate change on aquatic ecosystems, focusing on how these affect exposures to UV radiation in both inland and oceanic waters. The ways in which stratospheric ozone depletion is directly altering climate in the southern hemisphere and the consequent extensive effects on aquatic ecosystems are also addressed. The primary objective is to synthesise novel findings over the past four years in the context of the existing understanding of ecosystem response to UV radiation and the interactive effects of climate change. If it were not for the Montreal Protocol, stratospheric ozone depletion would have led to high levels of exposure to solar UV radiation with much stronger negative effects on all trophic levels in aquatic ecosystems than currently experienced in both inland and oceanic waters. This "world avoided" scenario that has curtailed ozone depletion, means that climate change and other environmental variables will play the primary role in regulating the exposure of aquatic organisms to solar UV radiation. Reductions in the thickness and duration of snow and ice cover are increasing the levels of exposure of aquatic organisms to UV radiation. Climate change was also expected to increase exposure by causing shallow mixed layers, but new data show deepening in some regions and shoaling in others. In contrast, climate-change related increases in heavy precipitation and melting of glaciers and permafrost are increasing the concentration and colour of UV-absorbing dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulates. This is leading to the "browning" of many inland and coastal waters, with consequent loss of the valuable ecosystem service in which solar UV radiation disinfects surface waters of parasites and pathogens. Many organisms can reduce damage due to exposure to UV radiation through behavioural avoidance, photoprotection, and photoenzymatic repair, but meta-analyses continue to confirm negative effects of UV radiation across all trophic levels. Modeling studies estimating photoinhibition of primary production in parts of the Pacific Ocean have demonstrated that the UV radiation component of sunlight leads to a 20% decrease in estimates of primary productivity. Exposure to UV radiation can also lead to positive effects on some organisms by damaging less UV-tolerant predators, competitors, and pathogens. UV radiation also contributes to the formation of microplastic pollutants and interacts with artificial sunscreens and other pollutants with adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems. Exposure to UV-B radiation can decrease the toxicity of some pollutants such as methyl mercury (due to its role in demethylation) but increase the toxicity of other pollutants such as some pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Feeding on microplastics by zooplankton can lead to bioaccumulation in fish. Microplastics are found in up to 20% of fish marketed for human consumption, potentially threatening food security. Depletion of stratospheric ozone has altered climate in the southern hemisphere in ways that have increased oceanic productivity and consequently the growth, survival and reproduction of many sea birds and mammals. In contrast, warmer sea surface temperatures related to these climate shifts are also correlated with declines in both kelp beds in Tasmania and corals in Brazil. This assessment demonstrates that knowledge of the interactive effects of ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change factors on aquatic ecosystems has advanced considerably over the past four years and confirms the importance of considering synergies between environmental factors.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8pp90062kDOI Listing
March 2019

Linkages between stratospheric ozone, UV radiation and climate change and their implications for terrestrial ecosystems.

Photochem Photobiol Sci 2019 Mar 27;18(3):681-716. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA.

Exposure of plants and animals to ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B; 280-315 nm) is modified by stratospheric ozone dynamics and climate change. Even though stabilisation and projected recovery of stratospheric ozone is expected to curtail future increases in UV-B radiation at the Earth's surface, on-going changes in climate are increasingly exposing plants and animals to novel combinations of UV-B radiation and other climate change factors (e.g., ultraviolet-A and visible radiation, water availability, temperature and elevated carbon dioxide). Climate change is also shifting vegetation cover, geographic ranges of species, and seasonal timing of development, which further modifies exposure to UV-B radiation. Since our last assessment, there has been increased understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which plants perceive UV-B radiation, eliciting changes in growth, development and tolerances of abiotic and biotic factors. However, major questions remain on how UV-B radiation is interacting with other climate change factors to modify the production and quality of crops, as well as important ecosystem processes such as plant and animal competition, pest-pathogen interactions, and the decomposition of dead plant matter (litter). In addition, stratospheric ozone depletion is directly contributing to climate change in the southern hemisphere, such that terrestrial ecosystems in this region are being exposed to altered patterns of precipitation, temperature and fire regimes as well as UV-B radiation. These ozone-driven changes in climate have been implicated in both increases and reductions in the growth, survival and reproduction of plants and animals in Antarctica, South America and New Zealand. In this assessment, we summarise advances in our knowledge of these and other linkages and effects, and identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps that limit our ability to fully evaluate the ecological consequences of these environmental changes on terrestrial ecosystems.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8pp90061bDOI Listing
March 2019

Photoprotection enhanced by red cell wall pigments in three East Antarctic mosses.

Biol Res 2018 Nov 21;51(1):49. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia.

Background: Antarctic bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) are resilient to physiologically extreme environmental conditions including elevated levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation due to depletion of stratospheric ozone. Many Antarctic bryophytes synthesise UV-B-absorbing compounds (UVAC) that are localised in their cells and cell walls, a location that is rarely investigated for UVAC in plants. This study compares the concentrations and localisation of intracellular and cell wall UVAC in Antarctic Ceratodon purpureus, Bryum pseudotriquetrum and Schistidium antarctici from the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica.

Results: Multiple stresses, including desiccation and naturally high UV and visible light, seemed to enhance the incorporation of total UVAC including red pigments in the cell walls of all three Antarctic species analysed. The red growth form of C. purpureus had significantly higher levels of cell wall bound and lower intracellular UVAC concentrations than its nearby green form. Microscopic and spectroscopic analyses showed that the red colouration in this species was associated with the cell wall and that these red cell walls contained less pectin and phenolic esters than the green form. All three moss species showed a natural increase in cell wall UVAC content during the growing season and a decline in these compounds in new tissue grown under less stressful conditions in the laboratory.

Conclusions: UVAC and red pigments are tightly bound to the cell wall and likely have a long-term protective role in Antarctic bryophytes. Although the identity of these red pigments remains unknown, our study demonstrates the importance of investigating cell wall UVAC in plants and contributes to our current understanding of UV-protective strategies employed by particular Antarctic bryophytes. Studies such as these provide clues to how these plants survive in such extreme habitats and are helpful in predicting future survival of the species studied.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40659-018-0196-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247747PMC
November 2018

Stress in native grasses under ecologically relevant heat waves.

PLoS One 2018 11;13(10):e0204906. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Services, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Future increases in the intensity of heat waves (high heat and low water availability) are predicted to be one of the most significant impacts on organisms. Using six native grasses from Eastern Australia, we assessed their capacity to tolerate heat waves with low water availability. We were interested in understanding differential response between native grasses of differing photosynthetic pathways in terms of physiological and some molecular parameters to ecologically relevant summer heat waves that are associated with low rainfall. We used a simulation heatwave event in controlled temperature cabinets and investigated effects of the different treatments on four stress indicators: leaf senescence, leaf water content, photosynthetic efficiency and the relative expression of two heat shock proteins, Hsp70 and smHsp17.6. Leaf senescence was significantly greater under the combined stress treatment, while declines in leaf water content and photosynthetic efficiency were much larger for C3 than C4 plants, particularly under the combined stress treatment. Species showed an increase in expression of Hsp70 associated with heat treatment, rather than drought stress. In contrast Hsp17.6 was only detected in two species, responding to heat rather than drought, although species' responses were variable. Overall, the C3 species were less tolerant than C4 species. Variation in individual plants within species was evident, especially under multiple stresses, and indicates that losses of individual plants may occur during a heat wave associated with this variability in tolerance. Heat waves will impose significant stress on plant communities that would not otherwise occur when heat and drought stress are experienced singly. Using ecologically relevant heat stress is likely to yield better predictability of how native plants will cope under a hotter, drier future.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0204906PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6181341PMC
March 2019

Remote monitoring of dynamic canopy photosynthesis with high time resolution light-induced fluorescence transients.

Tree Physiol 2018 09;38(9):1302-1318

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Understanding the net photosynthesis of plant canopies requires quantifying photosynthesis in challenging environments, principally due to the variable light intensities and qualities generated by sunlight interactions with clouds and surrounding foliage. The dynamics of sunflecks and rates of change in light intensity at the beginning and end of sustained light (SL) events makes photosynthetic measurements difficult, especially when dealing with less accessible parts of plant foliage. High time resolved photosynthetic monitoring from pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometers has limited applicability due to the invasive nature of frequently applied saturating flashes. An alternative approach used here provides remote (<5 m), high time resolution (10 s), PAM equivalent but minimally invasive measurements of photosynthetic parameters. We assessed the efficacy of the QA flash protocol from the Light-Induced Fluorescence Transient (LIFT) technique for monitoring photosynthesis in mature outer canopy leaves of potted Persea americana Mill. cv. Haas (Avocado) trees in a semi-controlled environment and outdoors. Initially we established that LIFT measurements were leaf angle independent between ±40° from perpendicular and moreover, that estimates of 685 nm reflectance (R685) from leaves of similar chlorophyll content provide a species dependent, but reasonable proxy for incident light intensity. Photosynthetic responses during brief light events (≤10 min), and the initial stages of SL events, showed similar declines in the quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦII) with large transient increases in 'constitutive loss processes' (ΦNO) prior to dissipation of excitation by non-photochemical quenching (ΦNPQ). Our results demonstrate the capacity of LIFT to monitor photosynthesis at a distance during highly dynamic light conditions that potentially may improve models of canopy photosynthesis and estimates of plant productivity. For example, generalized additive modelling performed on the 85 dynamic light events monitored identified negative relationships between light event length and ∆ΦII and ∆electron transport rate using either ∆photosynthetically active radiation or ∆R685 as indicators of leaf irradiance.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpx161DOI Listing
September 2018

Relative functional and optical absorption cross-sections of PSII and other photosynthetic parameters monitored in situ, at a distance with a time resolution of a few seconds, using a prototype light induced fluorescence transient (LIFT) device.

Funct Plant Biol 2017 Oct;44(10):985-1006

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

The prototype light-induced fluorescence transient (LIFT) instrument provides continuous, minimally intrusive, high time resolution (~2s) assessment of photosynthetic performance in terrestrial plants from up to 2m. It induces a chlorophyll fluorescence transient by a series of short flashes in a saturation sequence (180 ~1μs flashlets in <380μs) to achieve near-full reduction of the primary acceptor QA, followed by a relaxation sequence (RQA; 90 flashlets at exponentially increasing intervals over ~30ms) to observe kinetics of QA re-oxidation. When fitted by the fast repetition rate (FRR) model (Kolber et al. 1998) the QA flash of LIFT/FRR gives smaller values for FmQA from dark adapted leaves than FmPAM from pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) assays. The ratio FmQA/FmPAM resembles the ratio of fluorescence yield at the J/P phases of the classical O-J-I-P transient and we conclude that the difference simply is due to the levels of PQ pool reduction induced by the two techniques. In a strong PAM-analogous WL pulse in the dark monitored by the QA flash of LIFT/FRR φPSIIWL ≈ φPSIIPAM. The QA flash also tracks PQ pool reduction as well as the associated responses of ETR QA → PQ and PQ → PSI, the relative functional (σPSII) and optical absorption (aPSII) cross-sections of PSII in situ with a time resolution of ~2s as they relax after the pulse. It is impractical to deliver strong WL pulses at a distance in the field but a longer PQ flash from LIFT/FRR also achieves full reduction of PQ pool and delivers φPSIIPQ ≈ φPSIIPAM to obtain PAM-equivalent estimates of ETR and NPQ at a distance. In situ values of σPSII and aPSII from the QA flash with smaller antenna barley (chlorina-f2) and Arabidopsis mutants (asLhcb2-12, ch1-3 Lhcb5) are proportionally similar to those previously reported from in vitro assays. These direct measurements are further validated by changes in antenna size in response to growth irradiance. We illustrate how the QA flash facilitates our understanding of photosynthetic regulation during sun flecks in natural environments at a distance, with a time resolution of a few seconds.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP17024DOI Listing
October 2017

Discovery and Optimization of 5-Amino-1,2,3-triazole-4-carboxamide Series against Trypanosoma cruzi.

J Med Chem 2017 09 27;60(17):7284-7299. Epub 2017 Aug 27.

Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, U.K.

Chagas' disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is the most common cause of cardiac-related deaths in endemic regions of Latin America. There is an urgent need for new safer treatments because current standard therapeutic options, benznidazole and nifurtimox, have significant side effects and are only effective in the acute phase of the infection with limited efficacy in the chronic phase. Phenotypic high content screening against the intracellular parasite in infected VERO cells was used to identify a novel hit series of 5-amino-1,2,3-triazole-4-carboxamides (ATC). Optimization of the ATC series gave improvements in potency, aqueous solubility, and metabolic stability, which combined to give significant improvements in oral exposure. Mitigation of a potential Ames and hERG liability ultimately led to two promising compounds, one of which demonstrated significant suppression of parasite burden in a mouse model of Chagas' disease.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00463DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5601362PMC
September 2017

Antarctic Moss Biflavonoids Show High Antioxidant and Ultraviolet-Screening Activity.

J Nat Prod 2017 08 7;80(8):2224-2231. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

School of Chemistry, UNSW , Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

Ceratodon purpureus is a cosmopolitan moss that survives some of the harshest places on Earth: from frozen Antarctica to hot South Australian deserts. In a study on the survival mechanisms of the species, nine compounds were isolated from Australian and Antarctic C. purpureus. This included five biflavonoids, with complete structural elucidation of 1 and 2 reported here for the first time, as well as an additional four known phenolic compounds. Dispersion-corrected DFT calculations suggested a rotational barrier, leading to atropisomerism, resulting in the presence of diastereomers for compound 2. All isolates absorbed strongly in the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum, e.g., biflavone 1 (UV-A, 315-400 nm), which displayed the strongest radical-scavenging activity, 13% more efficient than the standard rutin; p-coumaric acid and trans-ferulic acid showed the highest UV-B (280-315 nm) absorption. The more complex and abundant 1 and 2 presumably have dual roles as both UV-screening and antioxidant compounds. They are strongly bound to Antarctic moss cell walls as well as located inside the cells of moss from both locations. The combined high stability and photoprotective abilities of these isolates may account for the known resilience of this species to UV-B radiation and its survival in some of the toughest locations in the world.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00085DOI Listing
August 2017

Thermotolerance capacities of native and exotic coastal plants will lead to changes in species composition under increased heat waves.

Conserv Physiol 2017 5;5(1):cox029. Epub 2017 May 5.

School of Biological Sciences, Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522,Australia.

With an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, plants are likely to reach their thermal limits and show slower growth or increased mortality. We investigated differences amongst coastal native and invasive shrubs and grasses to investigate if particular species might be more at risk in the future. Using an ecologically relevant experimental set of heat waves over a month, we assessed changes in biomass and photosynthetic efficiency in a laboratory setting using 25 coastal Australian species divided into native and exotic shrubs, and native and exotic grasses. We also compared three C3 and three C4 grasses within the native and exotic groups. Overall, native shrubs suffered higher mortality, lower growth and increased photosynthetic stress. There was some evidence that C3 grasses, had lower growth with heat waves, compared to C4 species although, in general, grasses showed evidence of photosynthetic acclimation over the month. Increases in leaf abscission suggest that part of the acclimation process was to develop new, thermally tolerant leaves. Our results indicate that in the future we would expect an increase in exotic shrubs and grasses occupying spaces in coastal plant communities that arise from native mortality following extreme heat events. Management of these coastal communities will need to focus strongly on maintaining a diverse native shrub composition that can resist climate-based disturbances (such as wildfire), as well as controlling the extent and biomass of exotic species, if coastal communities are to remain healthy and diverse in a changing climate.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/conphys/cox029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5419204PMC
May 2017

Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being.

Science 2017 03;355(6332)

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.

Distributions of Earth's species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by human-mediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that climate-driven species redistribution at regional to global scales affects ecosystem functioning, human well-being, and the dynamics of climate change itself. Production of natural resources required for food security, patterns of disease transmission, and processes of carbon sequestration are all altered by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aai9214DOI Listing
March 2017

Moving beyond presence and absence when examining changes in species distributions.

Glob Chang Biol 2017 08 15;23(8):2929-2940. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia.

Species distributions are often simplified to binary representations of the ranges where they are present and absent. It is then common to look for changes in these ranges as indicators of the effects of climate change, the expansion or control of invasive species or the impact of human land-use changes. We argue that there are inherent problems with this approach, and more emphasis should be placed on species relative abundance rather than just presence. The sampling effort required to be confident of absence is often impractical to achieve, and estimates of species range changes based on survey data are therefore inherently sensitive to sampling intensity. Species niches estimated using presence-absence or presence-only models are broader than those for abundance and may exaggerate the viability of small marginal sink populations. We demonstrate that it is possible to transform models of predicted probability of presence to expected abundance if the sampling intensity is known. Using case studies of Antarctic mosses and temperate rain forest trees, we demonstrate additional insights into biotic change that can be gained using this method. While species becoming locally extinct or colonising new areas are extreme and obviously important impacts of global environmental change, changes in abundance could still signal important changes in biological systems and be an early warning indicator of larger future changes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13628DOI Listing
August 2017

Native hemiparasite and light effects on photoprotection and photodamage in a native host.

Funct Plant Biol 2015 Dec;42(12):1168-1178

Northumberland Building Rm NB260, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, NE1 8ST, UK.

Plants infected with hemiparasites often have lowered rates of photosynthesis, which could make them more susceptible to photodamage. However, it is also possible that infected plants increase their photoprotective capacity by changing their pigment content and/or engagement of the xanthophyll cycle. There are no published studies investigating infection effects on host pigment dynamics and how this relates to host susceptibility to photodamage whether in high (HL) or low light (LL). A glasshouse experiment was conducted where Leptospermum myrsinoides Schltdl. either uninfected or infected with Cassytha pubescens R.Br. was grown in HL or LL and pigment content of both host and parasite were assessed. Infection with C. pubescens significantly decreased all foliar pigment concentrations (except chlorophyll b) in L. myrsinoides in both HL and LL. Xanthophyll cycle (violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, zeaxanthin; VAZ) and chlorophyll (Chl) pigments decreased in parallel in response to infection, hence, VAZ/Chl of the host was unaffected by C. pubescens in either HL or LL. Pre-dawn and midday de-epoxidation state [(A+Z)/(V+A+Z)] of L. myrsinoides was also unaffected by infection in both HL and LL. Thus, L. myrsinoides infected with C. pubescens maintained similar photoprotective capacity per unit chlorophyll and engagement of the xanthophyll cycle as uninfected plants. Even though midday quantum yield (ΦPSII) of HL plants was affected by infection, pre-dawn maximum quantum yields (Fv/Fm) of hosts were the same as uninfected plants whether in HL or LL. This ability of L. myrsinoides to maintain photoprotective capacity/engagement when infected by C. pubescens thereby preventing photodamage could explain this host's tolerance to hemiparasite infection.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP15132DOI Listing
December 2015

Impact of hydrocarbons from a diesel fuel on the germination and early growth of subantarctic plants.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2015 Jul;17(7):1238-48

School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) is a diesel fuel dominated by aliphatic hydrocarbons that is commonly used in Antarctic and subantarctic regions. The past and present use of SAB fuel at Australia's scientific research stations has resulted in multiple spills, contaminating soils in these pristine areas. Despite this, no soil quality guidelines or remediation targets have been developed for the region, primarily due to the lack of established indigenous test species and subsequent biological effects data. In this study, twelve plant species native to subantarctic regions were collected from Macquarie Island and evaluated to determine their suitably for use in laboratory-based toxicity testing, using germination success and seedling growth (shoot and root length) as endpoints. Two soil types (low and high organic carbon (OC)) were investigated to reflect the variable OC content found in soils on Macquarie Island. These soils were spiked with SAB fuel and aged for 14 days to generate a concentration series of SAB-contaminated soils. Exposure doses were quantified as the concentration of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH, nC9-nC18) on a soil dry mass basis. Seven species successfully germinated on control soils under laboratory conditions, and four of these species (Colobanthus muscoides Hook.f., Deschampsia chapmanii Petrie, Epilobium pendunculare A.Cunn. and Luzula crinita Hook.f.) showed a dose-dependent inhibition of germination when exposed to SAB-contaminated soils. Contaminated soils with low OC were generally more toxic to plants than high organic carbon soils. Increasing soil-TPH concentrations significantly inhibited shoot and root growth, and root length was identified as the most sensitive endpoint. Although the test species were tolerant to SAB-contaminated soils in germination assays, development of early life stages (up to 28 days) were generally more sensitive indicator of exposure effects, and may be more useful endpoints for future testing.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4em00680aDOI Listing
July 2015

Antarctic moss stress assessment based on chlorophyll content and leaf density retrieved from imaging spectroscopy data.

New Phytol 2015 Oct 17;208(2):608-24. Epub 2015 Jun 17.

Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia.

The health of several East Antarctic moss-beds is declining as liquid water availability is reduced due to recent environmental changes. Consequently, a noninvasive and spatially explicit method is needed to assess the vigour of mosses spread throughout rocky Antarctic landscapes. Here, we explore the possibility of using near-distance imaging spectroscopy for spatial assessment of moss-bed health. Turf chlorophyll a and b, water content and leaf density were selected as quantitative stress indicators. Reflectance of three dominant Antarctic mosses Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Ceratodon purpureus and Schistidium antarctici was measured during a drought-stress and recovery laboratory experiment and also with an imaging spectrometer outdoors on water-deficient (stressed) and well-watered (unstressed) moss test sites. The stress-indicating moss traits were derived from visible and near infrared turf reflectance using a nonlinear support vector regression. Laboratory estimates of chlorophyll content and leaf density were achieved with the lowest systematic/unsystematic root mean square errors of 38.0/235.2 nmol g(-1) DW and 0.8/1.6 leaves mm(-1) , respectively. Subsequent combination of these indicators retrieved from field hyperspectral images produced small-scale maps indicating relative moss vigour. Once applied and validated on remotely sensed airborne spectral images, this methodology could provide quantitative maps suitable for long-term monitoring of Antarctic moss-bed health.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.13524DOI Listing
October 2015

Toxicity of fuel-contaminated soil to Antarctic moss and terrestrial algae.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2015 Sep 2;34(9):2004-12. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

Fuel pollution is a significant problem in Antarctica, especially in areas where human activities occur, such as at scientific research stations. Despite this, there is little information on the effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on Antarctic terrestrial biota. The authors demonstrate that the Antarctic mosses Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Schistidium antarctici, and Ceratodon purpureus, and the Antarctic terrestrial alga Prasiola crispa are relatively tolerant to Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) fuel-contaminated soil (measured as total petroleum hydrocarbons). Freshly spiked soils were more toxic to all species than were aged soils containing degraded fuel, as measured by photosynthetic efficiency (variable fluorescence/maximum fluorescence [Fv/Fm]), pigment content, and visual observations. Concentrations that caused 20% inhibition ranged from 16,600 mg/kg to 53,200 mg/kg for freshly spiked soils and from 30,100 mg/kg to 56,200 mg/kg for aged soils. The photosynthetic efficiency of C. purpureus and S. antarctici was significantly inhibited by exposure to freshly spiked soils with lowest-observed-effect concentrations of 27,900 mg/kg and 40,400 mg/kg, respectively. Prasiola crispa was the most sensitive species to freshly spiked soils (Fv/Fm lowest-observed-effect concentration 6700 mg/kg), whereas the Fv/Fm of B. pseudotriquetrum was unaffected by exposure to SAB fuel even at the highest concentration tested (62,900 mg/kg). Standard toxicity test methods developed for nonvascular plants can be used in future risk assessments, and sensitivity data will contribute to the development of remediation targets for petroleum hydrocarbons to guide remediation activities in Antarctica.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3021DOI Listing
September 2015

Moss δ(13) C: an accurate proxy for past water environments in polar regions.

Glob Chang Biol 2015 Jun 18;21(6):2454-64. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Institute for Conservation Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia.

Increased aridity is of global concern. Polar regions provide an opportunity to monitor changes in bioavailable water free of local anthropogenic influences. However, sophisticated proxy measures are needed. We explored the possibility of using stable carbon isotopes in segments of moss as a fine-scale proxy for past bioavailable water. Variation in δ(13) C with water availability was measured in three species across three peninsulas in the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica and verified using controlled chamber experiments. The δ(13) C from Antarctic mosses accurately recorded long-term variations in water availability in the field, regardless of location, but significant disparities in δ(13) C between species indicated some make more sensitive proxies. δ(13) CSUGAR derived from living tissues can change significantly within the span of an Antarctic season (5 weeks) in chambers, but under field conditions, slow growth means that this technique likely represents multiple seasons. δ(13) CCELLULOSE provides a precise and direct proxy for bioavailable water, allowing reconstructions for coastal Antarctica and potentially other cold regions over past centuries.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12848DOI Listing
June 2015

Not just about sunburn--the ozone hole's profound effect on climate has significant implications for Southern Hemisphere ecosystems.

Glob Chang Biol 2015 Feb 17;21(2):515-27. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Institute for Conservation Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia.

Climate scientists have concluded that stratospheric ozone depletion has been a major driver of Southern Hemisphere climate processes since about 1980. The implications of these observed and modelled changes in climate are likely to be far more pervasive for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems than the increase in ultraviolet-B radiation due to ozone depletion; however, they have been largely overlooked in the biological literature. Here, we synthesize the current understanding of how ozone depletion has impacted Southern Hemisphere climate and highlight the relatively few documented impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Reviewing the climate literature, we present examples of how ozone depletion changes atmospheric and oceanic circulation, with an emphasis on how these alterations in the physical climate system affect Southern Hemisphere weather, especially over the summer season (December-February). These potentially include increased incidence of extreme events, resulting in costly floods, drought, wildfires and serious environmental damage. The ecosystem impacts documented so far include changes to growth rates of South American and New Zealand trees, decreased growth of Antarctic mosses and changing biodiversity in Antarctic lakes. The objective of this synthesis was to stimulate the ecological community to look beyond ultraviolet-B radiation when considering the impacts of ozone depletion. Such widespread changes in Southern Hemisphere climate are likely to have had as much or more impact on natural ecosystems and food production over the past few decades, than the increased ultraviolet radiation due to ozone depletion.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12739DOI Listing
February 2015
-->