Prevention of Ultraviolet Radiation Damage in Antarctic Marine Invertebrates
One aspect of investigating the ecological effects of ozone depletion on marine communities is to identify species-specific characteristics relative to strategies for dealing with prevention and repair of ultraviolet B (UV-B, 280–320 ran) damage. In adult marine invertebrates protection from UV-B exposure can be provided by either external coverings (e.g., teste, shell, body wall) or by the presence of UV-absorbing molecules (e.g., mycosporine-like amino acid compounds) or by both in cells and tissues. External coverings are not opaque to UV-B. Using biological dosimetry, penetration of UV-B wavelengths through the exteriors of adult invertebrate has been observed. In addition, selective partitioning of UV-absorbing compounds occurs in adult invertebrate tissues. The highest concentrations of these substances are found in ovaries and eggs. Planktonic larval stages receive higher UV exposures than benthic adults and have considerably less optical shielding. Since egg cells tend to have higher concentrations of UV-absorbing compounds than other body tissues, this may provide for increased protection of embryos and larvae during planktonic development.
Key wordsAntarctic ozone depletion marine invertebrates plankton UV radiation References
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