Increased UVB Radiation Causing Increased Marine Deaths

Written by on August 14, 2012 in Marine Life, Physical Oceanography

A new study shows that increased UVB radiation has caused an increase in marine deaths.

Using data from previous studies concerning the effects of UVB radiation on marine species, the international research team found that a close link exists between death of marine species and UVB levels.

UVB radiation as the greatest impact on corals and algae. Photo Credit: Richard Ling.

UVB radiation as the greatest impact on corals and algae. Photo Credit: Richard Ling.

“In our study, mortality is the biological response which showed the greatest sensitivity to UVB radiation,” said lead author, Dr. Moira Llabres from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain.  “Ultraviolet B radiation has caused a steep increase in deaths among marine animals and plants.”

UVB radiation can impair many key functions in marine organisms, from photosynthesis to nutrient absorption and even reproductive rates.

“The organisms most affected are protists, such as algae, corals, crustaceans and fish larvae and eggs,” explained Dr. Llabres.  It is a big threat to our oceans because, “it is affecting marine ecosystems from the bottom to the top of the food web.”

You can read the full story from the BBC here: Marine species’ deaths caused by UVB increases.

You can read the full article, published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography here: Impact of elevated UVB radiation on marine biota: a meta-analysis.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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