Latest Keystone species Stories
Rice University researchers have found that communities in nature are likely to be a lot more sensitive to change than previously thought.
A thriving population of sea otters will keep sea urchins in check, which will allow kelp forests to prosper and allow them to absorb 12 times the amount of CO2 than if they were subject to sea urchin ravaging.
New research by UBC zoologists indicates that elevated water temperatures and heightened concentrations of carbon dioxide can dramatically increase the growth rate of a keystone species of sea star.
Sea otters are known as a keystone species, filling such an important niche in ocean communities that without them, entire ecosystems can collapse. Scientists are finding, however, that sea otters can have even farther-reaching effects that extend to terrestrial communities and alter the behavior of another top predator: the bald eagle.
The ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus), also known as the ochre starfish or the purple sea star, is a species of starfish that is classified within the Asteriidae family. This species can be found in the Pacific Ocean in a range that extends from Santa Barbara Co., California to Prince William Sound in Alaska. This species holds one subspecies, known as Pisaster ochraceus segnis, which can be found in warmer waters that the ochre sea star. Adult individuals prefer a habit in rocky areas at...
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a large otter native to the North Pacific, from northern Japan and Kamchatka east across the Aleutian Islands south to California. The heaviest of the otters, sea otters are the only species within the genus Enhydra. They were hunted extensively for their luxurious fur. Its estimated that a half million to a million otters were killed over time. The population is thought to have been 150,000 to 300,000 historically before the years of the great hunt....