The Effect of UVB Radiation on Phytoplankton’s Ability to Photosynthesize

Julia Castellano, United States
Phytoplankton are the base of the marine food chain, so the impact of UVB radiation will be explored using phytoplankton. This experiment will determine the effect of UVB radiation on phytoplankton by measuring their chlorophyll levels before and after treatment using a SpectroVis Plus. The SpectroVis determines the rate at which light is absorbed from 380 to 950 nm, covering the visible spectrum. The phytoplankton will be placed in a solution similar to ocean water to test the wavelengths of light they absorb before being exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Finally, the SpectroVis will be used again, and the graphs from before and after the radiation will be compared to determine the effects of UVB radiation on phytoplankton’s ability to photosynthesize. It is expected that the phytoplankton will not be able to absorb as much light after being exposed to UVB light. The peaks will be less defined and flatter.