Short Communication
Field study on changes in viability of airborne fungal propagules exposed to UV radiation
V. Uleviius 1 *, D. Peiulyt 2, A. Lugauskas 2, J. Andriejauskien 1
1Institute of Physics, Savanori 231, LT-2053 Vilnius, Lithuania
2Institute of Botany, alijeer 49, LT-2021 Vilnius, Lithuania
email: V. Uleviius (

*Correspondence to V. Uleviius, Institute of Physics, Savanori 231, LT-2053 Vilnius, Lithuania


fungi fungal propagules relative recovery mycotoxins


The responses of airborne fungi to UV-B under natural conditions were investigated at the coastal station in Preila, Lithuania. Results of this investigation demonstrated that solar radiation has a marked lethal effect on outdoor airborne fungi. Sensitivity to solar radiation was the highest for the fungal propagules collected late in the evening (relative recovery 6.2%) and early morning (25.3%). The lowest sensitivity to solar radiation was observed for fungal propagules collected at midday (50.0%) and in the afternoon (53.0%). The reason for the lethal effect is thought to be elimination of the sensitive fraction of the night-time fungal populations as solar radiation gradually increases beginning at dawn. Among 356 fungus strains isolated during the investigations, 128 can be characterized as potential pathogens, and 21 strains among those most common in fungal populations belonging to plant, animal, and human pathogen groups. The collected fungal populations were exposed to solar UV-B irradiation for 2 h (from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.). Fungal communities in the air samples were composed of saprotrophs, some of which are regarded as potential phytopathogens (Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Fusarium) or as entomopathogens (Beauveria, Paecilomyces, and Metarhizium). The airborne fungal species identified after exposure to solar radiation were predominantly: Aspergillus niger, Alternaria alternata, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Arthrinium phaerosporum, and dematiaceous sterile mycelium. 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 19: 437-441, 2004.

Received: 1 June 2003; Accepted: 18 March 2004


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