Sensitivity of the marine copepod Tigriopus californicus to ultraviolet-B (290-320 nm) radiation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m326m609p

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  • Due to the presence of the earth's ozone layer, radiation of the shorter solar wavelengths is reduced during penetration of the atmosphere. Increases in chlorofluoromethanes and nitrogen oxides may significantly decrease the ozone concentration, resulting in shorter wavelength penetration, most notably UV-B (290-320 nm) radiation. Various studies have found UV-B radiation to be harmful to life forms. The marine harpacticoid copepod, Tigriopus californicus, is a successful colonizer of supralittoral splash pools from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Baja California, Mexico. Since these pools are subject to abundant amounts of direct solar radiation, it is of interest to determine the sensitivity of Tigriopus californicus to UV-B radiation. Tigriopus was raised under diurnal conditions in the laboratory and was fed a mixture of unicellular algae and bacteria. Both larval and adult stages of the copepod were irradiated on a rotating turntable under cool white fluorescent lamps and sunlamps. Radiation procedure utilized cellulose acetate filters and Mylar filters to control the ultraviolet exposure. Following irradiation, the animals were returned to the culture area where they were checked daily for survival. Similar experimentation was also performed to compare the survival of Acartia clausii to that of Tigriopus. Simple extraction and identification of the pigment responsible for the bright orange color of Tigriopus was also performed. Results indicate that all life stages of Tigriopus are significantly resistant to enhanced UV-B radiation. Additionally, there may be a sex-ratio shift in the younger developmental stages following irradiation. Previous work indicates that the pigmentation of Tigriopus californicus is probably due to the carotenoids astaxanthin and astaxanthin ester. These pigments, which are located in the carapace, may function to absorb UV radiation and protect internal structures from photochemically-induced damage.
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