UV effects that come and go: A global comparison of marine benthic community level impacts

Martin Wahl*, Markus Molis, Andrew Davis, Sergey Dobretsov, Simone T. Dürr, Josefin Johansson, Jeff Kinley, David Kirugara, Matthias Langer, Heike K. Lotze, Martin Thiel, Jeremy C. Thomason, Boris Worm, Dafna Zeevi Ben-Yosef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Ambient UV radiation has substantially increased during decades, but its impact on marine benthic communities is hardly known. The aim of this study was to globally compare and quantify how shallow hard-bottom communities are affected by UV during early succession. Identical field experiments in 10 different coastal regions of both hemispheres produced a consistent but unexpected pattern: (i) UV radiation affected species diversity and community biomass in a very similar manner, (ii) diversity and biomass were reduced to a larger extent by UVA than UVB radiation, (iii) ambient UV levels did not affect the composition of the communities, and (iv) any UV effects disappeared during species succession after 2-3 months. Thus, current levels of UV radiation seem to have small, predictable, and transient effects on shallow marine hard-bottom communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1962-1972
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Community resilience
  • Global assessment
  • Marine benthic diversity
  • UV radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • General Environmental Science


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