Antarctic plants resist ozone hole AFP

The unique flora of Antarctica appears to be resisting damage from the ozone hole over the South Pole far better than anyone expected, Dutch scientists say. The hole has triggered fears that Antarctica’s fragile plants could suffer severe DNA damage as they are exposed to higher intensities of ultra-violet light, which is normally filtered out by the ozone layer in the stratosphere. But a team led by Daniela Lud from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Yerseke says many plant species seem to have a repair kit that enables them to fix any damage almost overnight, the British weekly New Scientist reports in next Saturday’s issue.