In this study we report the response of net community production (NCP) of plankton communities in the Arctic surface waters exposure to natural ultraviolet radiation (UVR) conditions. A possible bias in previous measurements performed using borosilicate glass bottles (opaque to most UVR) can underestimate NCP. Here we show that 77% of the sampled communities suffer, on average, 38.5% of net increase in NCP when exposed to natural UV-B condition, relative to values when UV-B radiation is excluded. UV-B tends to shift communities toward autotrophy, with the most autotrophic communities responding the strongest. This is likely explained by the inhibition of bacterial respiration during the continuous day period of the Arctic summer, corroborated by experiments where bacterial production influenced by UV-B directly affect NCP. Whereas Arctic warming is expected to lead to lower NCP, our results show that increased UV-B radiation may partially compensate this negative effect in surface waters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)