Effects of different levels of UV-B radiation on marine epilithic communities: a short-term microcosm study
R.A. Danilov and N.G.A. Ekelund

Epilithic communities from brackish coastal water of the east coast of Sweden were studied in order to reveal their responses to different levels of UV-B radiation. The experiment was conducted for seven days in an indoor microcosm system. The epilithic communities were exposed daily to different doses of UV-B radiation: 1, 3, 5 and 7 hours, respectively. The intensity of the UV-B radiation used was similar to that in natural environments. After seven days clear shifts both in species composition and community structure were observed. All species of diatoms showed negative correlation with enhanced levels of UV-B. On the other hand, abundance of cyanobacteria was positively correlated with enhanced levels of UV-B (Calothrix aeruginea, R=0.49; Oscillatoria amphibia, R=0.93; Pseudanabaena mucicola, R=0.26). Communities dominated by diatoms and green algae at the initial stage of the experiment did show a drastic decrease in diatom abundance under UV-B stress and finally became dominated by cyanobacteria. Among green algae the abundance of Cladophora sericea correlated positively (R=0.33) with enhanced exposure to UV-B, while Monoraphidium-species exhibited negative correlation to UV-B. Otherwise, no significant correlation between other green algae species identified and UV-B stress could be detected. We conclude that UV-B radiation, even at lower levels, is capable to induce severe changes to marine epilithic communities. The trends revealed in the present study predict a shift from communities dominated by diatoms and green algae to those dominated by cyanobacteria.

Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 64(4) : 363-368 Back PDF
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