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The effects of solar UV radiation on plant and ecosystem function.

UV radiation is a relatively minor component of the solar spectrum reaching the ground surface. Yet it has many important effects on organisms and biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

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.

Just published: UNEP Quadrennial Report, UNEP Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (2015).
A. T. Austin, M. S. Méndez and C. L. Ballaré
Photodegradation alleviates the lignin bottleneck for carbon turnover in terrestrial ecosystems
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113: 4392-4397
J. A. Zavala, C. A. Mazza, F. M. Dillon, H. D. Chludil And C. L. Ballaré
Soybean resistance to stink bugs (Nezara viridula and Piezodorus guildinii) increases with exposure to solar UV-B radiation and correlates with isoflavonoid content in pods under field conditions
Plant, Cell and Environment, 38: 920-928
J. F. Bornman, P. W. Barnes, S. A. Robinson, C. L. Ballaré, S. D. Flint, M. M. Caldwell
Solar ultraviolet radiation and ozone depletion-driven climate change: effects on terrestrial ecosystems
Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 14: 88-107 (UNEP Quadrennial Report, OA)
C. A. Mazza, C. L. Ballaré
Photoreceptors UVR8 and phytochrome B cooperate to optimize plant growth and defense in patchy canopies
New Phytologist, 207: 4-9
C. L. Ballaré
Light Regulation of Plant Defense
Annual Review of Plant Biology 65, 335-363
C. Williamson, R. Zepp, R. Lucas, S. Madronich, A. T. Austin, C. L. Ballaré, M. Norval, B. Sulzberger, A. Bais, R. McKenzie, R. Robinson, D-P. Häder, N.D. Paul, J.F. Bornman
Solar Ultraviolet Radiation in a Changing Climate
Nature Climate Change, 4: 434-441
C. A. Mazza, P. I. Giménez, A. G. Kantolic and C. L. Ballaré
Beneficial effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean yield mediated by reduced insect herbivory under field conditions
Physiologia Plantarum 147, 307-315.
C. L. Ballaré, C. A. Mazza, A. T. Austin and R. Pierik
Canopy light and plant health
Plant Physiology 160, 145-155 (commissioned Update)
P. V. Demkura and C. L. Ballaré
UVR8 mediates UV-B-induced Arabidopsis defense responses against Botrytis cinerea by controlling sinapate accumulation
Molecular Plant 5, 642-652.
C. L. Ballaré
Jasmonate-induced defenses: a tale of intelligence, collaborators and rascals
Trends in Plant Science 16, 249-257.
C. L. Ballaré, M. M. Caldwell, S. D. Flint, S. A. Robinson and J. F. Bornman
Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on terrestrial ecosystems. Patterns, mechanisms, and interactions with climate change
Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 10, 226-241.
A. T. Austin and C. L. Ballaré
Dual role of lignin in plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107, 4618-4622.
C. A. Mazza, M. M. Izaguirre, J. Curiale and C. L. Ballaré
A look into the invisible: ultraviolet-B sensitivity in an insect (Caliothrips phaseoli) revealed through a behavioural action spectrum
Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 277, 367-373.
P. Balint-Kurti, S. J. Simmons, J. E. Blum, C. L. Ballaré and A. E. Stapleton
Maize leaf epiphytic bacteria diversity patterns are genetically correlated with resistance to fungal pathogen infection
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 23, 473-484.
P. V. Demkura, G. Abdala, I. T. Baldwin and C. L. Ballaré
Jasmonate-dependent and -independent pathways mediate specific effects of solar ultraviolet-B radiation on leaf phenolics and antiherbivore defense
Plant Physiology 152, 1084-1095.
M. M. Caldwell, J. F. Bornman, C. L. Ballaré, S. D. Flint and G. Kulandaivelu
Terrestrial ecosystems, increased solar ultraviolet radiation, and interactions with other climate change factors
Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 6, 252-266.
M. M. Izaguirre, C. A. Mazza, A. Svatos, I. T. Baldwin and C. L. Ballaré
Solar ultraviolet-B radiation and insect herbivory trigger partially overlapping phenolic responses in Nicotiana attenuata and Nicotiana longiflora
Annals of Botany 99, 103-109.