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UV-B absorbing pigments in spores: biochemical responses to shade in a high-latitude birch forest and implications for sporopollenin-based proxies of past environmental change
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2011 (English)In: Polar Research, ISSN null, Vol. 30, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Current attempts to develop a proxy for Earth's surface ultraviolet-B (UV-B) flux focus on the organic chemistry of pollen and spores because their constituent biopolymer, sporopollenin, contains UV-B absorbing pigments whose relative abundance may respond to the ambient UV-B flux. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy provides a useful tool for rapidly determining the pigment content of spores. In this paper, we use FTIR to detect a chemical response of spore wall UV-B absorbing pigments that correspond with levels of shade beneath the canopy of a high-latitude Swedish birch forest. A 27% reduction in UV-B flux beneath the canopy leads to a significant (p<0.05) 7.3% reduction in concentration of UV-B absorbing compounds in sporopollenin. The field data from this natural flux gradient in UV-B further support our earlier work on sporopollenin-based proxies derived from sedimentary records and herbaria collections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2011. Vol. 30, no 1
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Natural Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-3873DOI: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.8312OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-3873DiVA: diva2:1161962
Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2017-12-01

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