Antarctic mosses live in a frozen desert, and are characterised by the ability to survive desiccation. They can tolerate multiple desiccation-rehydration events over the summer growing season. As a result of recent ozone depletion, such mosses may also be exposed to ultraviolet-B radiation while desiccated. The ultraviolet-B susceptibility of Antarctic moss species was examined in a laboratory experiment that tested whether desiccated or hydrated mosses accumulated more DNA damage under enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation. Accumulation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and pyrimidine (6ÃÂ¿4) pyrimidone dimers was measured in moss samples collected from the field and then exposed to ultraviolet-B radiation in either a desiccated or hydrated state. Two cosmopolitan species, Ceratodon purpureus (Hedw.) Brid. and Bryum pseudotriquetrum (Hedw.) Gaertn., B.Mey. & Scherb, were protected from DNA damage when desiccated, with accumulation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers reduced by at least 60% relative to hydrated moss. The endemic Schistidium antarctici (Cardot) L.I. Savicz & Smirnova accumulated more DNA damage than the other species and desiccation was not protective in this species. The cosmopolitan species remarkable ability to tolerate high ultraviolet-B exposure, especially in the desiccated state, suggests they may be better able to tolerate continued elevated ultraviolet-B radiation than the endemic species.