The ascidian Corella inflata (Chordata, Ascidiacea) is common in many areas of Puget Sound, Washington, USA. However, it occurs only in habitats where it is protected from direct sunlight. Previous experiments with artificial lights showed that UV irradiation kills all life stages of this animal. The effects of natural sunlight exposure (measuring survival of adults, juveniles, larvae, and embryos) were compared. We partitioned the light spectrum to separate the effects of UVB, UVA, and visible light (PAR). Natural sunlight severely damaged C. inflata. Adults and juveniles died after 2-5 d. Exposed embryos failed to develop normally and larvae did not settle. As expected, UVB had significant effects, but pronounced effects were also seen when the animals were exposed to longer wavelengths alone (UVA and PAR). Thus, the distribution of C. inflata may be determined largely by exposure to light. Understanding the basic ecology of this species requires consideration of its vulnerability to sunlight damage and the effects of UVB, UVA, and PAR.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
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© 2000 by Cambridge University Press. View original article at Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.
Bingham, Brian L. and Reitzel, A. M., "Solar Damage To the Solitary Ascidian, Corella Inflata" (2000). Environmental Sciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 9.