A simulation experiment was conducted to explore the influence of enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation, water deficit, and their combination on UV-absorbing compounds and osmotic adjustment substances of mosses Bryum argenteum and Didymodon vinealis isolated from biological soil crusts (BSCs) growing in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert, China. Four levels of UV-B radiation and two gradients of water regime were employed. Compared with their controls, amounts of total flavonoids, chlorophyll, carotenoids, soluble sugars, and soluble proteins significantly decreased (p < 0.05), but proline content significantly increased (p < 0.05), when exposed to either enhanced UV-B or water deficit. The negative effects of enhanced UV-B were alleviated when water deficit was applied. There were increases in UV-absorbing compounds and osmotic adjustment substances when exposed to a combination of enhanced UV-B and water deficit compared with single stresses, except for the proline content in D. vinealis. In addition, our results also indicated interspecific differences in response to enhanced UV-B, water deficit, and their combination. Compared with B. argenteum, D. vinealis was more resistant to enhanced UV-B and water deficit singly and in combination. These results suggest that the damage of enhanced UV-B on both species might be alleviated by water deficit. This alleviation is important for understanding the response of BSCs to UV-B radiation in future global climate change. This also provides novel insights into assessment damages of UV-B to BSC stability in arid and semiarid regions.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 16, 2018
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