In 1991 a field experiment was established in subarctic heathland at Abisko (68degrees35'N, 18degrees82'E), northern Sweden, to investigate the effects of enhanced UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation, simulating 15% ozone depletion, on plants in their natural environment. Leaves of the four dominant dwarf shrubs, the deciduous Vaccinium myrtillus L. and V. uliginosum L. and the evergreen V. vitis-idaea L. and Empetrum hermaphroditum Hagerup were examined after 7 years of UV-B treatment. SEM and ESEM were used to visualize surface features and to determine trichome density. Multiphoton laser scanning microscopy showed that UV-B absorbing compounds were localized in the trichomes of all species. Trichomes varied in size, number and distribution between the species. Enhanced UV-B reduced adaxial trichome density significantly (by approximately 25%) in only one species, V. uliginosum. This effect could be of importance for the UV-B absorbing potential of the adaxial epidermis of V. uliginosum. Epicuticular wax structures were found only on the abaxial surface of V. uliginosum and were unaffected by enhanced UV-B. The cuticular surfaces of all other species were smooth and featureless. Leaf thickness, adaxial and abaxial cuticle thickness varied between the species although there was no apparent effect of enhanced UV-B. It is concluded that long-term enhancement of UV-B has an effect on adaxial trichome density in V. uliginosum, but that there is no general effect on leaf morphology of the other species.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2003|
- EPICUTICULAR WAXES