Solar UV-B and Visible Radiation in Tropical Forest Gaps: Measurements Partitioning Direct and Diffuse Radiation
Global Change Biology
Solar ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation penetrates plant canopies to a different degree than photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) because UV-B is diffused to a greater degree by the atmosphere. We measured both global (total) and diffuse solar radiation in canopy gaps of a semideciduous tropical forest in Panama. Measurements were simul- taneously made in the UV-B and PAR wavebands. Compared to unobstructed measure- ments taken outside the forest, the sunlit portions of gaps were depleted in the proportion of UV-B relative to PAR, especially at midday. Shaded areas, in contrast, were always richer in UV-B relative to PAR, but the magnitude of the change varied greatly. Presumably this variation was due to the differences in the directional nature of diffuse solar UV-B radiation as compared to diffuse PAR. Measurements in the gaps showed substantial reductions in the proportion of radiation in the diffuse components of both the UV-B and PAR wavebands. However, because of the greater proportion of UV-B which is diffuse, it tended to predominate in shaded areas. Similar patterns were seen in measurements taken at temperate latitudes. Response of shade- and gap-dwelling plants to these high UV-B:PAR ratios has received little attention.
Flint, Stephan D.; Caldwell, Martyn M. 1998. Solar UV-B and Visible Radiation in Tropical Forest Gaps: Measurements Partitioning Direct and Diffuse Radiation. Global Change Biology 4(8): 863-870.