Sea star’s disappearance has had damaging consequences for the marine ecosystem. Once abundant in the Pacific, rising temperatures and a strange disease all but killed off the sunflower sea star. In an ecosystem chain reaction, their demise led to a reduction in carbon-absorbing kelp. Now scientists are breeding the sea stars in an attempt to revive the species – and combat climate change. What has a diameter of around one metre and is being grown in a lab by scientists hoping to reverse ecological damage in the Pacific? The answer – sunflower sea stars. From Alaska to Mexico, this enormous invertebrate was once a common sight on the seabed. But between 2013 and 2017, an estimated 91% of the sunflower sea star population was wiped out. It is now an endangered species . The cause of this catastrophic decline is referred to as sea star wasting syndrome and is thought to have killed as many as 5.75 billion of the creatures. Their disappearance has had damaging consequences for the marine ecosystem. Sunflower sea stars feed on sea urchins. Sea urchins feed on kelp. Without the presence of sunflower sea stars, their key predator in the food chain, sea urchin […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.