Effect of artificial UV radiation on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the macroalgae Fucus spiralis L. and Ulva olivascens Dangeard
Thalli of the intertidal Phaeophyte Fucus spiralis L. and the subtidal Chlorophyte Ulva olivascens Dangeard were exposed to artificial UV-A, UV-B and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by combination of PAR + UV-A + UV-B (PAB), PAR + UV-A (PA) and PAR (P) treatments. UV-A enhanced photosynthesis and stimulated carbonic anhydrase (CA) and nitrate reductase (NR) in F. spiralis whilst PAR only had an inhibitory effect in this species. U. olivascens suffered chronic photoinhibition in all the treatments as evidenced by reduced maxima photosynthesis (P-max) and photosynthetic efficiency (alpha). Non stimulatory effect was observed upon CA and NR in this species. Our results showed that artificial UV radiation triggered opposite responses in both species. We suggest that differences shown by both species might be related to their location in the rocky shore and their ability to sense UV. We propose that the ratio UV:PAR acts as an environmental signal involved in the control of photosynthesis as shown by pronounced inhibition in samples exposed to only PAR. We also suggest that UV-regulated photosynthesis would be related to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, regulating feedback processes that control C and N assimilation.