Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No S1 (1999)

Preliminary data on chronic effects of ultraviolet radiation on the growth of some phytoplankton species of the Beagle Channel, Argentina

Marcelo P. Hernando

Nemesio A. San Román


Serious concerns exist that the thinning of stratospheric ozone and the resulting enhancement in the solar UVB radiation, may impair marine primary productivity. Also, UVB may alter food web dynamics and food availability for higher trophic levels in marine ecosystems inducing changes in phytoplankton species composition. The main goal of this study was to examine the responses of different species of marine phytoplankton to solar UVR. Specifically, we compared the UV sensitivity of a phytoplankton natural community isolated from the Beagle Channel (54°52´S, 68°18´W, Ushuaia, Argentina), as well as the response of two taxa which were isolated from that community (i.e., a pennate diatom, Navicula sp., and a phytoflagellate pertaining to the Class Cryptophyceae) to UV radiation. Exposure to UVB or UVA radiation treatments had no significant effects (p > 0.05) on exponential growth rate in Navicula sp. However, when the phytoflagellate [Class Cryptophyceae] was exposed to UVB, the growth rate in the exponential phase was inhibited significantly (p < 0.01) compared with the PAR control. Marked changes in the relative abundance of the main taxonomic groups were observed in the community cultures: the relative abundance of phytoflagellates was significantly lower after exposure to the UVB treatment than after exposure to the PAR treatment (p < 0.05). However, the percentage of centric diatoms increased significantly (p < 0.05) when they were exposed to UVB. The growth rate at the end of the exponential phase of growth of the community was inhibited significantly (p < 0.01) when the algae were exposed to UVB and UVA.


Ultraviolet radiation; inhibition; phytoflagellates; diatoms; growth rate

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support