Piezoelectric effects on the optical properties of GaN/AlN quantum dots have been investigated by both continuous-wave and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) measurements. The increase in excitation density in CW-PL leads to a blue shift of the transition energy. The TRPL measurements reveal a very large blue-shift (0.6 eV) of the PL peak energy, which reduces with time delay in a complex way, due to the strong transition-energy dependence of the carrier recombination time. The results are discussed in terms of respective roles played by the population of excited levels and by the screening of internal electric fields by accumulation of electron-hole dipoles in the quantum boxes. (C) 2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.