Exposure to sunlight is generally an unavoidable consequence of being alive and life on Earth relies on the ozone layer to attenuate biologically harmful ultraviolet
B (UVB: 280-315 nm) wavelengths of the solar spectrum. While ozone depletion has initiated concern about the effects of increased UVB on the biosphere, UVB filtered through a normal ozone column is still a considerable environmental stress. UVB exposure can cause declines in growth and reproduction that can eventually lead to reduced productivity or death; and although damage and protective/repair mechanisms are common across taxa, there is wide species-specific variation in UVB responses. In order to understand the ecological impact of the ozone layer as a UVB filter, the UV photobiology of species, populations, and individuals needs to be understood in the context of primary productivity, biodiversity, trophic energy transfer, and biogeochemical cycling.
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