Special thanks to the Gulf of Maine Aquarium, source of the original
Increases in the ozone hole will result in damaging ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays penetrating deep into the ocean. Increases in UV rays will harm young marine life, such as floating fish eggs, fish larvae, juvenile fish, and shrimp larvae. UV-B radiation also affects phytoplankton movement: orientation (movement up or down in the water in response to the amount of light) and motility (moving through the water). Inability to properly position themselves in the water column dramatically inhibits their ability to photosynthesize. Phytoplankton are called primary producers because they photosynthesize their food from sunlight. If phytoplankton are harmed by increases in the ozone layer, how will others in the Antarctic food web be affected?
Find out what will survive UV-B radiation in Antarctica.
Search on-line for information about the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. Given what you know about the role of phytoplankton in the food web, why are scientists concerned about thinning of the ozone layer? How will increases in the ozone hole harm young marine life and affect phytoplankton movement?
Look up the number of daylight hours at different latitudes as spring goes into summer in Antarctica. Contrast length of daylight in your area with what scientists in Antarctica are experiencing. Palmer Station is at about 64 degrees S.
Excellent Antarctic Food Web lesson "Who Eats Who In the Antarctic?"
by Kim Kovich.
AGU report on the effects of UV on phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean.