Stratospheric ozone depletion and the concomitant increase in irradiance of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) at the earth’s surface represent major threats to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In costal rocky shore environments, seaweeds constitute a group of organisms of particular significance to ecosystem function. Thus, impairment of seaweed performance by UVB-exposure may result in severe changes in the functioning of coastal ecosystems. Here we present our view on how UVB radiation affects seaweed physiology and ecology and, thus, shapes the coastal environment by affecting the spatial, species and functional structure of seaweed communities.
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