Review of Literature Concerning the Impact of UV-B Radiation Upon Marine Organisms

  • Robert C. Worrest
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 7)


UV-B radiation (e.g. 310 nm) penetrates approximately the upper 10% of the coastal marine euphotic zone before it is reduced to 1% of its surface irradiance (Jerlov, 1976). There is good evidence that current levels of solar UV radiation depress near-surface primary production in marine waters (e.g., Steemann Nielsen, 1964; Jitts et al., 1976). Marine animals may tolerate current levels of solar UV-B radiation by means of protective screens, avoidance behavior, and repair processes which reverse much of the potential damage inflicted by the radiation. However, as early as 1925, scientific investigators have documented the damage inflicted on marine animals by exposure to sunlight, especially the UV component of the sunlight (Huntsman, 1925; Klugh, 1929, 1930; Harvey, 1930). Utilizing currently available laboratory and field data the present contribution will review the literature relating to the impact of UV-B radiation upon marine organisms.


Marine Organism Action Spectrum Full Sunlight Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Thalassiosira Pseudonana 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Worrest
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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