Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 22, pp 17443–17452 | Cite as

An integrated view of gamma radiation effects on marine fauna: from molecules to ecosystems

  • Eun-Ji Won
  • Hans-U. Dahms
  • K. Suresh Kumar
  • Kyung-Hoon Shin
  • Jae-Seong LeeEmail author
Molecular and cellular effects of contamination in aquatic ecosystems


Accidental release of nuclides into the ocean is causing health risks to marine organisms and humans. All life forms are susceptible to gamma radiation with a high variation, depending on various physical factors such as dose, mode, and time of exposure and various biological factors such as species, vitality, age, and gender. Differences in sensitivity of gamma radiation are also associated with different efficiencies of mechanisms related to protection and repair systems. Gamma radiation may also affect various other integration levels: from gene, protein, cells and organs, population, and communities, disturbing the energy flow of food webs that will ultimately affect the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Depending on exposure levels, gamma radiation induces damages on growth and reproduction in various organisms such as zooplankton, benthos, and fish in aquatic ecosystems. In this paper, harmful effects of gamma-irradiated aquatic organisms are described and the potential of marine copepods in assessing the risk of gamma radiation is discussed with respect to physiological adverse effects that even affect the ecosystem level.


Gamma radiation Marine invertebrate Copepod Biological effects Repair 



This work was supported by a grant (2013R1A1A2013404) of the National Research Foundation funded to Eun-Ji Won.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun-Ji Won
    • 1
  • Hans-U. Dahms
    • 2
    • 3
  • K. Suresh Kumar
    • 4
  • Kyung-Hoon Shin
    • 4
  • Jae-Seong Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Science, College of ScienceSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Science and Environmental BiologyKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungRepublic of China
  3. 3.Department of Marine Biotechnology and ResourcesNational Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungRepublic of China
  4. 4.Department of Marine Sciences and Convergent Technology, College of Science and TechnologyHanyang UniversityAnsanSouth Korea

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