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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

Fraser, Wesley T.; Sephton, Mark A.; Watson, Jonathan S.; Self, Stephen; Lomax, Barry H.; James, David I.; Wellman, Charles H.; Callaghan, Terry V. and Beerling, David J. (2011). 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. Polar Research, 30 p. 8312.

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URL: http://www.polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/artic...
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v30i0.8312
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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 W.T. Fraser et al.
ISSN: 1751-8369
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNER/A/S/2002/00865NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)
Not SetNot SetThermo Fisher Scientific
Enhanced Transnational Access To AbiskoScientific Research StationFP6 506004EU
Early Career fellowshipECF/2006/0492Leverhulme Trust
Keywords: FTIR; spores; ferulic acid; p-coumaric acid; shade; sporopollenin
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 29293
Depositing User: Jonathan Watson
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2011 14:42
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2014 19:40
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/29293
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