Ostracod valves as efficient UV protection
AbstractOne of the major consequences of climate change is the increase of ultraviolet radiation, especially UVB (280-315 nm). This has important consequences for organisms and ecosystems. In surface freshwater ecosystems with transparent water, UV can easily penetrate deeply. Here, we used three different experimental approaches to examine the response of non-marine ostracods and cladocerans to UVB radiation: estimating lethal doses, determining how much UVB is blocked by the valves, and analysing valve chemical compositions. For most investigated crustaceans, we found a strong correlation between the amount of UVB that is blocked by the valves and the lethal UVB doses. Most ostracod valves blocked between 60% and 80% of UVB radiation, thus providing effective shielding. Pigmented species from temporary habitats were best protected. These species also showed high lethal UVB doses of 110 kJ m 2 to 214 kJ m 2. In the waterflea Daphnia magna, valves only stopped ca 35% of UVB radiation, and the lethal dose was half that of the doses estimated for ostracods. Since there were no significant differences in chemical composition of the valves between the investigated species, other factors must be responsible for the observed differences, which remain to be identified.
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Copyright (c) 2012 Lynn Van Den Broecke, Koen Martens, Valentina Pieri, Isa Schön
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