Posted by seahunt on December 08, 2002 at 06:03:13:
In Reply to: Frame of reference matters posted by shark-92107 on December 06, 2002 at 12:24:10:
What you say is quite correct except for one thing. I am not basing it on my own observations. Note that I stated why it would happen... the primary predator (otters) is gone and that it would apply to only a few species that didn't get a lot of predation from other species. Sure sheepheads eat urchins, but they do not appreciably limit the urchin population. That is an observation, but the issue of overpopulation is simple ecology.
Frankly, an overpopulation of abalone or urchin does not bother me, but clearly in ecological terms it would lead to unnaturally high population density and risk of disease. Hey, there are (almost) no urchins in Florida. I don't know if that was a natural event though or human introduced like withering foot disease in abalone.
Anyway, a mature reserve could be something to see. Even the small ones we have today, like LJ cove, are amazing.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt
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