Besides providing energy for photosynthesis, light carries information for plant “decision making”. Characteristics of light environment can inform a plant about possibilities of better light availability or conditions that should be avoided. This process is elucidated in an ongoing research project, where conditions in forest understoreys are simulated in a greenhouse. Plants are grown under different Valoya lights and one side of the compartment is supplied with UV-B radiation. Ivy plant is forced to choose its side, whether it prefers to grow in the UV-B enriched environment or UV-B depleted side.
UV-B + and UV-B - sides are separated with a plastic filter.
Docent Matthew Robson is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow employed at the Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki. His research focuses on the signals that plants receive and process and the consequences of these responses for the environment. He monitors the full solar spectrum in different forest stands through the year and uses this data on changing spectral composition to examine the response of understorey plants and tree seedlings to selected candidate light signals in field and greenhouse experiments. More information about Docent Matthew Robson at the University of Helsinki research database.