Researchers have found that sea otters help keep sea forests healthy by eating sea urchins, which love the explosive growth of seaweeds on the California coast.
Sea urchins breed in large numbers after clearing the sunflower starfish, whose predator is the disease, and grow along the cold, shallow coastal waters of California, a nutritious kelp that provides shelter and food for marine life. Overgrazing in the forest. These kelp forests are already threatened by rising temperatures and ocean acidification.
Sea otters regain their appetite balance and reduce sea urchin populations. Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences show.
“Having a healthy ecosystem is very important for our future to deal with the effects of current climate change … and sea otters have a very important role to play in it,” said the sea otter. Jessica Fujii, assistant manager of the research program, said. Monterey Bay Aquarium..
“They may not be able to fight everything, but their presence will not only have a significant impact on what they need to survive, but also on areas that humans want to enjoy,” said the University of California, Santa Cruz. And the US Geological Survey.
The otter diet helps the kelp forest grow and play a natural role in climate change, said Amy David, vice president of maritime policy at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, saying that kelp produces carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. I explained that it will absorb.
Sea otters are also helping eelgrass breed at the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough in Monterey County, California.
The area has become an ecological treasure after years of introduction, rescue and restoration by the county aquarium.
More than 100 endangered sea otters swim daily in this tidal bay, sharing home water with seals, brown pelicans, egrets and other creatures.
Sea otters eat crabs. Crabs are the main predators of slugs that eat eel algae. Eels absorb carbon dioxide and provide a buffer against climate change.
Fujii studies sea otters in Alaska and, through an aquarium program, teaches how to swim and hunt captured adult sea otters before they are released into the wild.
“Even after doing this job for over a decade, I still love to see how otters interact with the environment and enjoy the other wildlife there,” says Fujii.
“It’s really important to make sure it’s healthy and everything is balanced.”
California Otters’ Appetite for Sea Urchins Helps Restore Marine Forests Amid Climate Change Source link California Otters’ Appetite for Sea Urchins Helps Restore Marine Forests Amid Climate Change