Ultraviolet-B radiation influences the abundance and distribution of phylloplane fungi on pedunculate oak (Quercus rohur)


To whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail: K. Newsham@ite.ac.uk


The effects of u. v.-B radiation (280–315 nm) on the fungi occurring on the lammas leaves of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) were examined using saplings that were exposed at an outdoor facility to supplemental levels of u. v.-B radiation under treatment arrays of cellulose diacetate-filtered fluorescent lamps, which also produce u. v.-A radiation (315–400 nm). Saplings were also exposed to u. v.-A radiation alone under control arrays of polyester-filtered lamps, and to ambient levels of solar radiation under arrays of unenergized lamps. The u. v.-B treatment corresponded to a 30 % elevation above the ambient level of erythemally-weighted u. v.-B radiation. The fungi were examined weekly over a 4–month-period in summer and autumn 1995 using two techniques, the spore fall and leaf impression methods, which differentiated between those fungi occurring on the upper (adaxial) and lower (abaxial) surfaces of the leaves. The abundances of Aureobasidium pullulans (De Bary) Arnaud and Sporobolomyces roseus Kluy. et van Niel, two leaf yeasts which had adaxial: abaxial ratios of < 1 under ambient levels of u. v.-B radiation, were negatively correlated with increasing ambient levels of u. v.-B radiation and were significantly reduced on adaxial leaf surfaces by supplemental levels of u. v.-B. There were few effects of supplemental u. v.-B radiation on the abundances of these yeasts on abaxial leaf surfaces. The abundances of the dematiaceous hyphomycetes, Cladosporium spp. and Epicoccum nigrum Link., species with adaxial: abaxial ratios of ≥ 1 under ambient levels of u. v.-B radiation, were not correlated with ambient levels of u. v.-B radiation, nor were they usually affected on either leaf surface by supplemental u. v.-B radiation. Alternaria spp. and Microdochium nivale (Fr.) Samuels & Hallet showed consistent responses on adaxial leaf surfaces to u. v.-A radiation applied under control and treatment arrays. Our results suggest that current levels of shortwave radiation already influence the distribution of fungi on leaf surfaces and that future increases in u. v.-B radiation will directly affect the abundances of specific phylloplane fungi.