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Abstract

We examined the effects of daily exposure to UVB on growth, reproduction and histological characteristics of Daphnia magna over two generations at 20, 22, 25 and 30°C. Animals were exposed to 16 h of UVA and photosynthetically active radiation daily. Treated animals received 6 h of UVB during the light phase. Parental (P) generation growth and reproduction was impaired by exposure to UVB at all temperatures, with the poorest production at 30°C. First brood size decreased with UVB exposure; it was lowest at 30°C. Although F1 length at birth increased with P generation age, F1 produced by UVB-exposed mothers were smaller at all temperatures. The F1 generation was followed at 20 and 25°C; at both temperatures UVB exposure reduced F1 growth and reproduction. F1 growth and F2 production were lowest when both P and F1 generations were exposed to UVB. UVB exposure damaged ovarian and gut tissue at both 25 and 30°C; the consequences of this exposure were more severe at 30°C. The observed tissue damage may relate directly to the UVB-induced impairment of growth and reproduction. This study provides new insights into the effects of UVB on an important component of the pelagic zooplankton.