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Botanica Marina

Editor-in-Chief: Dring, Matthew J.


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1437-4323
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Volume 52, Issue 6

Issues

Physiological responses of polar benthic algae to ultraviolet radiation

Ulf Karsten
  • Institute of Biological Sciences, Applied Ecology, University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Strasse 3, D-18057 Rostock, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Angela Wulff / Michael Y. Roleda
  • Institute for Polar Ecology, University of Kiel, Wischhofstrasse 1–3, D-24148 Kiel, Germany
  • Present address: Scottish Association of Marine Science, Oban, Argyll, Scotland, UK.
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/ Ruth Müller
  • Department Seaweed Biology, Section Functional Ecology, Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
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/ Franciska S. Steinhoff / Jana Fredersdorf
  • Institute for Polar Ecology, University of Kiel, Wischhofstrasse 1–3, D-24148 Kiel, Germany
  • Institute of Marine Botany, University of Bremen, Leobener Strasse, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
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/ Christian Wiencke
  • Department Seaweed Biology, Section Functional Ecology, Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar

Abstract

Stratospheric ozone depletion and the concomitant increase in ultraviolet (UV) B radiation at the earth's surface represent major threats to polar marine ecosystems. Whereas in coastal rocky shore environments macroalgae constitute an assemblage of particular significance to ecosystem function, benthic diatoms dominate microphytobenthic assemblages, which typically grow on shallow-water sediments as highly productive and stabilising phototrophic biofilms. This review summarises present knowledge on how UV radiation affects the physiology of polar benthic algae with an emphasis on cell biological and structural changes, molecular targets and repair mechanisms, induction of reactive oxygen species and antioxidative strategies, photosynthesis and growth, photoprotective mechanisms, interactive effects between UV radiation and other abiotic factors, and finally ecological consequences. Although available data indicate that there are specific characteristics and adaptations in polar benthic micro- and macroalgae that explain their ecological success and limits under environmentally extreme conditions, much more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms. In particular, more ecosystem approaches and studies on interactive effects, as well as modern genomic, proteomic and metabolomic approaches could help address all open questions and depict a more holistic picture.

Keywords: avoidance; DNA repair; growth; interactive effects; life cycle; mycosporine-like amino acids; phlorotannins; photosynthesis; ultrastructure; UV sunscreens

About the article

Corresponding author


Received: 2008-12-16

Accepted: 2009-06-09

Published in Print: 2009-12-01


Citation Information: Botanica Marina, Volume 52, Issue 6, Pages 639–654, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BOT.2009.077.

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