Enhanced UV-B and Elevated CO2 Impacts Sub-Arctic Shrub Berry Abundance, Quality and Seed Germination

D. Gwynn-Jones, Alan G. Jones, Alice Waterhouse, A. Winters, D. Comont, J. Scullion, Rosie Gardias, Bente J. Graee, John A. Lee, T. V. Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the effects of long-term enhanced UV-B, and combined UV-B with elevated CO2 on dwarf shrub berry characteristics in a sub-arctic heath community. Germination of Vaccinium myrtillus was enhanced in seeds produced at elevated UV-B but seed numbers and berry size were unaffected. Elevated UV-B and CO2 stimulated the abundance of V. myrtillus berries, whilst UV-B alone stimulated the berry abundance of V. vitis-idaea and Empetrum hermaphroditum. Enhanced UV-B reduced concentrations of several polyphenolics in V. myrtillus berries, whilst elevated CO2 increased quercetin glycosides in V. myrtillus, and syringetin glycosides and anthocyanins in E. hermaphroditum berries. UV-B x CO2 interactions were found for total anthocyanins, delphinidin-3-hexoside and peonidin-3-pentosidein in V. myrtillus berries but not E. hermaphroditum. Results suggest positive impacts of UV-B on the germination of V. myrtillus and species-specific impacts of UV-B x elevated CO2 on berry abundance and quality. The findings have relevance and implications for human and animal consumers plus seed dispersal and seedling establishment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-268
Number of pages13
JournalAmbio: A Journal of the Human Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2012


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