GIORDANO Carla Valeria
Ozone depletion and UVB radiation: Impact on plant DNA damage in southern South America
ROUSSEAUX M. C.; BALLARÉ C. L.; GIORDANO C. V.; SCOPEL A. L.; ZIMA A. M.; SZWARCBERG-BRACCHITTA M.; SEARLES P. S.; CALDWELL M. M.; DÍAZ S. B.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Año: 1999 vol. 96 p. 15310 - 15310
The primary motivation behind the considerable effort in studying stratospheric ozone depletion is the potential for biological consequences of increased solar UVB (280-315 nm) radiation. Yet, direct links between ozone depletion and biological impacts have been established only for organisms of Antarctic waters under the influence of the ozone "hole;" no direct evidence exists that ozone-related variations in UVB affect ecosystems of temperate latitudes. Indeed, calculations based on laboratory studies with plants suggest that the biological impact of ozone depletion (measured by the formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in DNA) is likely to be less marked than previously thought, because UVA quanta (315-400 nm) may also cause significant damage, and UVA is unaffected by ozone depletion. Herein, we show that the temperate ecosystems of southern South America have been subjected to increasingly high levels of ozone depletion during the last decade. We found that in the spring of 1997, despite frequent cloud cover, the passages of the ozone hole over Tierra del Fuego (55o S) caused concomitant increases in solar UV and that the enhanced ground-level UV led to significant increases in DNA damage in the native plant Gunnera magellanica. The fluctuations in solar UV explained a large proportion of the variation in DNA damage (up to 68%), particularly when the solar UV was weighted for biological effectiveness according to action spectra that assume a sharp decline in quantum efficiency with increasing wavelength from the UVB into the UVA regions of the spectrum.