We study the effects of solar UV radiation on plant growth and secondary chemistry, and investigate the roles of UV radiation as an environmental signal affecting the development and behavior of plants and other organisms, such as canopy arthropods and phyllosphere microorganisms.
In cooperation with the Austin lab we are working on understanding the mechanisms that mediate the effects of UV and VIS light on the photochemical degradation of plant litter. Photodegradation is an important processes affecting the carbon and nutrient cycles in terrestrial ecosystems, and it may be affected by changes in environmental conditions predicted in future scenarios of global climate change.
Carlos Ballaré is also a member of the Environmental Effect Assessment Panel of the United Nations Environmental Programme (EEAP-UNEP). This panel informs the parties to the Montreal Protocol on recent advances in the understanding of the effects of solar UV radiation and their interactions with global climate change. The EEAP produces detailed reports every four years and short yearly updates, which are published by UNEP and reprinted in the open literature.