California's crashing kelp forest

First the sea stars wasted to nothing. Then the purple urchins took over, eating and eating until the bull kelp forests were gone. The red abalone starved. Their fishery closed. Red sea urchins starved. Their fishery collapsed. ...

What's killing sea otters? Scientists pinpoint parasite strain

Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the ...

In search of an undersea kelp forest's missing nitrogen

Plants need nutrients to grow. So scientists were surprised to learn that giant kelp maintains its impressive growth rates year-round, even in summer and early fall when ocean currents along the California coast stop delivering ...

New study examines role of sea urchins on California kelp

California sheephead and spiny lobsters may be helping control sea urchin populations in Southern California kelp forests, where sea otters—a top urchin predator—have long been missing, according to a new San Diego State ...

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