In general, thick hides and furs provide animals with a natural protection from uv radiation. However, problems have been observed in animals. The problems in the tropics are minimal, since ozone depletion is the least there, and tropical animal species are adapted to the normally high levels of uv radiation. As in the case with humans, the greatest problems occur at high latitudes, where animals have adapted to relatively low uv levels. Photo: Photo Disc Inc.
In the ocean, marine animals display different coping mechanisms. Since uv light is attenuated by water (14% /meter at 315 nm in clear water), swimming at a greater depth can be helpful. Some of these animals have protective coatings, while others repair the damage done during the day, at night.
In the boreal lakes, increased uvb radiation attacks the dissolved carbon compounds that normally help to filter normal levels of uvb. The results are increased fungal infections of marine organisms, sunburnt trout, and decreased phytoplankton production.
The link between worldwide decline in amphibian
populations and uv radiation is unclear. Tests at mid-latitudes indicate that some
amphibian species are very sensitive to increased uv radiation while others adjust
rapidly. The amphibian decline, however, has also been noted in the tropics, where ozone
depletion is minimal. The decline, especially in the tropics, goes beyond what could be
expected solely from increased uv radiation. Photo: Photo Disc Inc.
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