|Re: Re: more otters less abalone, less crab, less shellfish, less urchins, LESS BOTTOMLIFE|
Posted by Dr. Bill on October 11, 2005 at 10:12:56:|
In Reply to: Re: more otters less abalone, less crab, less shellfish, less urchins, LESS BOTTOMLIFE posted by Scott on October 02, 2005 at 12:46:11:
Are they any more voracious than humans?
It would be nice to see what kelp forests ecosystems looked like about 250 years ago before the sea otters were seriously hunted for their pelts.
Certainly urchin and abalone populations would likely be lower than they were 30-100 years ago. These populations undoubtedly rose following the near extinction of the otter. These increases most likely contributed to the decimation of kelp beds by urchins, but also increased the availability of abalone for humans and other predators.
We have such a short-sighted understanding of what marine ecosystems really should be (of course they are dynamic and do change over time).
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