The effect of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on inhibition of photosynthesis was studied in two species of marine picoplankton with different carbon concentration mechanisms: Nannochloropsis gaditana Lubián possesses a bicarbonate uptake system and Nannochloris atomus Butcher a CO2 active transport system. Biological weighting functions (BWFs) for inhibition of photosynthesis by UVR and photosynthesis vs irradiance (PI) curves for photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were estimated for both species grown with an enriched CO2 supply (high dissolved inorganic carbon [DIC]: 1% CO2 in air) and in atmospheric CO2 levels (low DIC: 0.03% CO2). The response to UVR and PAR exposures was different in each species depending on the DIC treatment. Under PAR exposure, rates of maximum photosynthesis were similar between treatments in N. gaditana. However, the cultures growing in high DIC had lower sensitivity to UVR than the low DIC cultures. In contrast, N. atomus had higher rates of photosynthesis under PAR exposure with high DIC, but the BWFs were not significantly different between treatments. The results suggest that one or more processes in N. gaditana associated with HCO3− transport are target(s) for UV photodamage because there was relatively less UV inhibition of the high DIC-grown cultures in which inorganic carbon fixation is supplied by passive CO2 diffusion. Time courses of photochemical efficiency in PAR, during UV exposure and during subsequent recovery in PAR, were determined using a pulse amplitude modulated fluorometer. The results were consistent with the BWFs. In all time courses, a steady state was obtained after an initial decrease, consistent with a dynamic balance between damage and repair as found for other phytoplankton. However, the relationship of response to exposure showed a steep decline in activity that is consistent with a constant rate of repair. A novel feature of a model developed from a constant repair rate is an explicit threshold for photosynthetic response to UV.
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Vol. 81 • No. 2