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Proceedings Paper

Impact of enhanced ultraviolet-B irradiance on maize yield formation and structure: a field evaluation
Author(s): Wei Gao; Youfei Zheng; James R. Slusser; Yuhong He; Ronggang Zhang
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Paper Abstract

Stratospheric ozone depletion and enhanced solar ultraviolet-B (UV-B) irradiance may have adverse impacts on the productivity of agricultural crops. Though only a small portion of the total solar electromagnetic spectrum, UV-B irradiance has a disproportionately large photobiological effect, largely because it is readily absorbed by important macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Numerous investigations have demonstrated that the effect of UV-B enhancements on plants includes a reduction in grain yield, alteration in species competition, susceptibility to disease, and changes in plant structure and pigmentation. Many experiments examining UV-B radiation effects on plants were conducted in growth chambers or greenhouses. It has been questioned if the effect of UV-B radiation on plants can be extrapolated to field responses from indoor studies because of the unnaturally high ratios of UV-B/UV-A and UV-B/PAR in many indoor studies. Field studies on UV-B radiation effect on plants have been recommended in order to use the UV and PAR irradiance provided by natural light. This study found the maize yield formation and yield structural elements responded to enhanced UV-B radiation under field conditions. Enhanced UV-B radiation caused a significant reduction of the dry matter accumulation and the maize grain yield in turn was affected. Analysis of yield structure indicates that the maize yield decreased with increased UV-B radiation and was evidently related to the decreased kernel weight and kernel number per ear.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 November 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5156, Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects III, (4 November 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.509422
Show Author Affiliations
Wei Gao, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Youfei Zheng, Nanjing Institute of Meteorology (China)
James R. Slusser, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Yuhong He, Nanjing Institute of Meteorology (China)
Ronggang Zhang, Nanjing Institute of Meteorology (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5156:
Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects III
James R. Slusser; Jay R. Herman; Wei Gao, Editor(s)

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