We initiated a study in winter 2000 in a Colorado shortgrass steppe to investigate effects of altered ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation and altered precipitation on plant growth, plant tissue decomposition, and litter faunal activity. In the field, open-air structures were constructed of solid plastic sheet material that either passed all wavelengths of solar radiation or passed only wavelengths greater than 400 nm (UVB =280-315 nm). Preliminary results indicate decreases in warm-season grass production under UVB radiation and drought conditions. Analysis of fiber constituents shows some significant seasonal and UVB treatment effects. The results of in vitro digestible dry matter analyses show significantly higher digestibility with UVB. Simulated grazing increased plant production, but there were no UVB by grazing interactions. Litter decomposition was affected by UVB exposure, the CO2 growing conditions, and precipitation level. Under dry conditions, UVB radiation tended to increase litter decomposition, as measured by mass loss. There were no clear initial effects of UVB treatment on soluble and fiber constituents of litter. Exclusion of UVB resulted in reduced fungal hyphae counts in ambient CO2-grown litter collected in fall 2002. Preliminary results indicate that litter arthropod density was lower with exposure to UVB and also lower under drought conditions.