An increase of UVB radiation due to damage to the ozone layer may be the main cause of the widespread die offs of marine organisms observed during the last decades, according to a new study published last month (July 25) in the journal of Global Ecology and Biogeography. Led by marine scientist Moira Llabres from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain, the study was based on previous data gathered on UVB levels and marine life and found a strong correlation between organism mortality and UVB radiation.
"The organisms most affected are protists, such as algae, corals, crustaceans, and fish larvae and eggs," Llabres told BBC News. Increases in UVB radiation in the southern hemisphere, for example, specifically coincide with the decline of krill and other species in the area.
"I think that more investigation should be focused on the UVB effects on marine ecosystems because high levels of UV radiation continue reaching the biosphere," Llabres added.