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Keywords:

  • Biomass;
  • gas-exchange rates;
  • peatland ecosystem;
  • shoot length;
  • spatial shoot density

1. The aim of the study was to investigate effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on the balance between biomass production and decay in an ombrotrophic bog which is dominated by one species of Sphagnum (S. fuscum). This paper concerns production.

2. Enhanced UV-B radiation (simulating 15% ozone depletion under clear sky conditions) was applied by means of fluorescent tubes during two growing seasons.

3. In S. fuscum, shoot density, mass relations and length increment over time were measured and productivity was estimated. Pigment concentration, rates of dark respiration and maximum net photosynthesis were recorded.

4.Sphagnum fuscum productivity was not changed by enhanced UV-B radiation while properties determining production were highly influenced although in opposite directions.

5. Height increment was decreased by 20% in the first growing season and by 31% in the second growing season under enhanced UV-B radiation. After two growing seasons spatial shoot density was decreased by 8% by enhanced UV-B radiation. The shoots became stunted as capitulum dry mass and stem dry mass per unit length were increased by 21 and 17%, respectively, under enhanced UV-B radiation.

6. Dark respiration was significantly decreased by 31% after growth under enhanced UV-B radiation.

7. The UV-B induced change in shoot biometry together with the reduced spatial shoot density involve potential long-term effects on peat structure with possible feedback on productivity, decomposition and the strength of the system as a carbon sink.