Ecological and Physiological Investigations about the Impact of UV Radiation (UVR) on the Succession of Benthic Primary Producers in Antarctica

Updated 2003-03-10

The succession of macro- and microalgal communities in the Antarctic will be investigated in field experiments under various UV radiation (UVR) conditions and in the absence or presence of grazers. The observed differences in the succession process will be correlated to physiological traits of single species, especially in spores and germlings, which are the most vulnerable stages in their life histories. Photosynthetic activity of the different developmental stages will be measured routinely. Additionally we plan the determination of pigment composition, C:N ratios, content of UV protective pigments and of possible DNA damage. The experiments will start in spring, concomitant to the time of highest UVBR, due to the seasonal depletion of the ozone layer in the Antarctic region. Supplemental laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine the effects of UVR on spores and germlings of individual species. In addition to the above analyses, we plan to examine of UVR induced damage of cell fine structure and of the cytoskeleton. The results of both the field and laboratory experiments will allow us to predict the consequences of enhanced UVR for the diversity and stability of the algal community.

Comments and additional information:

Project will start on Helgoland and results from Antarctica will be compared to the results gained from Helgoland and the Arctic, as additional information on latitudal differences

Time frame

Project time span
2003 - 2006
Data collection
not specified
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Dieter Hanelt
Biologische Anstalt Helgoland Postfach 180 D-27483 Helgoland Germany
Other project contacts
Prof. Dr. Christian Wiencke Alfred Wegener Institute Am Handelshafen 12 D-27570 Bremerhaven Germany

Parameters and Media

Not specified


Regions studied
Biologische Anstalt Helgoland
Biologische Anstalt Helgoland
Other areas
King Georg Island, Antarctica
Stations or areas where observations are made

AWI, Dallman station, Antarctica, King Georg Island

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

Instituto Antártico Argentino, Buenos Aire Botanical Institute University of Gothenburg

Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

Argentinean research offices

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