Detecting the spectral cue controlling diurnal rhythms in plant epidermal transmission (Horizon 2020 eLTER Transnational Access Grant)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

We assessed the phenology of the alpine flora in the Jardine Alpine and in the surrounding natural meadows. Most spring species had just started to grow or emerge from under the snowpack. Using our equipement for measuring optical leaf traits (Dualex, FluorPen & miniPAM), we assessed the photoprotection of the leaves on sunny and cloudy days, and throughout a diurnal time course. We compared the outcome with our database from previous measurements in 2014-2015 and selected species to measure intensively. We photo-graphed a variety of species under natural and UV radiation to assess patterns of UV screening (specially adapted UV camera and lens) visually, and measured the full spectrum reflectance, absorbance, and transmittance of selected leaves from each species considered (Jaz SpectrClip, leaf clip spectrometer). In addition to these planned measurements, we monitored solar radiation (UV, PAR, NIR) in the environment and assessed the effect of reflected radiation from the surrounding mountains, and direct reflection from the snowpack at close-quarters, on solar irradiance (specially-calibrated Maya Pro2000 spectrometer). We measured the UV-transmittance of mesocosms in the adjacent WARM experiment (International warming experiment run by Karl Grigulis and Santa Lavorel at LECA). With collaborators from the University of the Basque Country we measured and sampled alpine plants along a snowmelt gradient for photoprotective pigments, to be assessed by HPLC analyses back their lab in Bilbao (frozen in liquid N, weighed and processed). We took photographs documenting UV-induced fluorescence of lichens and flowers growing in the Jardin Alpin (UV-A torch and UV adapted camera).
Effective start/end date01/03/201931/12/2019

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • sunscreens
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • flavonoids
  • UV radiation
  • fluctuating light
  • circadian clock
  • biogeography