, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 1181–1192

UVB Radiation Variably Affects n-3 Fatty Acids but Elevated Temperature Reduces n-3 Fatty Acids in Juvenile Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

  • Michael T. Arts
  • Michelle E. Palmer
  • Anne Berit Skiftesvik
  • Ilmari E. Jokinen
  • Howard I. Browman
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11745-012-3719-5

Cite this article as:
Arts, M.T., Palmer, M.E., Skiftesvik, A.B. et al. Lipids (2012) 47: 1181. doi:10.1007/s11745-012-3719-5


Temperature and ultraviolet B radiation (UVB 290–320 nm) are inextricably linked to global climate change. These two variables may act separately, additively, or synergistically on specific aspects of fish biochemistry. We raised Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) parr for 54 days in outdoor tanks held at 12 and 19 °C and, at each temperature, we exposed them to three spectral treatments differing in UV radiation intensity. We quantified individual fatty acid (FA) mass fractions in four tissues (dorsal muscle, dorsal and ventral skin, and ocular tissue) at each temperature × UV combination. FA composition of dorsal muscle and dorsal and ventral skin was not affected by UV exposure. Mass fractions of 16:0, 18:0, and saturated fatty acids (SFA) were greater in dorsal muscle of warm-reared fish whereas 18:3n-3, 20:2, 20:4n-6, 22:5n-3, 22:6n-3, n-3, n-6, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and total FA were significantly higher in cold-reared fish. Mass fractions of most of the FA were greater in the dorsal and ventral skin of warm-reared fish. Cold-reared salmon exposed to enhanced UVB had higher ocular tissue mass fractions of 20:2, 20:4n-6, 22:6n-3, n-3, n-6, and PUFA compared to fish in which UV had been removed. These observations forecast a host of ensuing physiological and ecological responses of juvenile Atlantic Salmon to increasing temperatures and UVB levels in native streams and rivers where they mature before smolting and returning to the sea.


Atlantic SalmonFatty acidsTemperatureUV radiationClimate changeAquaculture



Docosahexaenoic acid


Essential fatty acid(s)


Fatty acid(s)


Fatty acid methyl ester(s)


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid(s) (carbon chain length ≥C20 and typically with ≥3 double bonds)


Monounsaturated fatty acid(s)


Polyunsaturated fatty acid(s)


Saturated fatty acid(s)


Ultraviolet A radiation (320–400 nm)


Ultraviolet B radiation (290–320 nm)


Ultraviolet radiation (both UVA and UVB)

Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael T. Arts
    • 1
  • Michelle E. Palmer
    • 2
  • Anne Berit Skiftesvik
    • 3
  • Ilmari E. Jokinen
    • 4
  • Howard I. Browman
    • 3
  1. 1.National Water Research InstituteEnvironment CanadaBurlingtonCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Marine ResearchAustevoll Research StationStorebøNorway
  4. 4.Department of Biological and Environmental ScienceUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland