Physiological and cellular adaptation of higher plants and snow algae to the arctic environment

Updated 2002-02-18

The objective of the planned work with arctic higher plants is to study the range of adaptation of photosynthetic metabolism, of antioxidative and sun screen compounds in a cold and reduced UV-B climate in comparison of data already raised from high alpine plants, which live partially under stronger cold and under different light regimes, especially higher UV-B. Further, the ultrastructure of leaf cells will be studied to clear, whether adaptations found in some high alpine plants occur similarly in arctic plants, and to connect such cytological results with metabolic functions. An additional comparison will be made with snow algae from Svalbard compared to those harvested on high alpine snow fields. It is the advantage of the planned work, that a number of investigations ranging from ultrastructural studies over different aspects of photosynthesis to assays of UV-B sensitive compounds and antioxidants will be conducted mostly with measurements and sample collection in the field during the same experimental day at one place. Therefore we expect a good connection of the data raised, back to the plant system and expect a much broader description of vitality and adaptation under the current conditions.

Time frame

Project time span
2002 - 2050
Data collection
2002 -
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Cornelius Luetz
Inst. of Botany Univ. Innsbruck Sternwartestr. 15 A-6020 Innsbruck Austria
+43 512 507 5935
+43 512 507 2715

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Biological effects
UV effects
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Algae (algae, phytoplankton)
Higher plants


Regions studied
UV effects
UV effects

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt u. Gesundheit; Abt. Expositionskammern Neuherberg/München (UV-Simulation) Prof. G. Fuhr, Dipl. Biol. Th. Leya Inst. of Biology, Humboldt Univ., Berlin (Snow algae)

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