Effects of UV radiation on marine ectotherms in polar regions

Hans U. Dahms, Sergey Dobretsov, Jae Seong Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Ozone-related increase in solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) during the last decades provided an important ecological stressor, particularly for polar ecosystems since these are less adapted to such changes. All life forms appear to be susceptible to UVR to a highly variable extent that depends on individual species and their environment. Differences in sensitivity between organisms may relate to efficiency differences of their protection mechanisms and repair systems. UVR impacts are masked by large seasonal and geographic differences even in confined areas like the polar regions. UVR has effects and responses on various integration levels: from genetics, physiology, biology, populations, communities, to functional changes as in food webs with consequences on material and energy circulations through ecosystems. Even at current levels, solar UV-B affects consumer organisms, such as ectotherms (invertebrates and fish), particularly through impediments on critical phases of their development (early life history stages such as gametes, zygotes and larvae). Despite the overall negative implications of UVR, effect sizes vary widely in, e.g., molecular damage, cell and tissue damage, survival, growth, behavior, histology, and at the level of populations, communities and ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Aquatic systems
  • Environmental stress
  • Global change
  • Polar regions
  • Radiation pollution
  • UV radiation
  • UV-A
  • UV-B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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