Collaborative Research: Photochemical and Optical Properties of Antarctic Waters in Response to Changing UV-B Fluxes
ACT K. Mopper & D. Kieber OPP 9527255 & OPP 9527314 PHOTOCHEMICAL AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF ANTARCTIC WATERS IN RESPONSE TO CHANGING UV-B FLUXES The decrease in stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic results in an increase in the UV-B flux in the euphotic zone. The increase leads to cellular damage to aquatic organisms, as documented by photo-inhibition and decreased productivity. Cellular damage can occur either intracellularly, or externally at the cell surface from biomolecular reactions with externally-generated reactive transients. The extent of this extracellular damage will depend on the photochemistry of the seawater surrounding the cell. Until recently, nothing was known about the type of photochemical processes, rates, and steady state concentrations of transients in Antarctic waters. It is proposed that field experiments be performed which will allow the construction of predictive models of photochemical production rates in surface waters and with depth. These studies will involve further quantum yield measurementts, development of a sensitive underwater actinometer system, and use of a new underwater multichannel photometer. The model will allow the prediction of the impact of varying levels of UV-B on the photoproduction and steady state concentration of several key reactive transient species in the upper water column. In addition to this effort, experiments will also be performed to study the photodegradation of dissolved organic matter and to determine whether biologically utilizable substrates that are formed photochemically can enhance secondary productivity in Antarctic waters.
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