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Once rich sea stars threatened by West West coastal diseases



Thousands of sunflower sea stars are thrown to Croker Rock by Croker Island, to the left of the Indian Army Fjord, north of Vancouver, British Columbia, October 9, 2013. Three weeks later, in the right photo, the sea stars have disappeared.
Thousands of sunflower sea stars are thrown to Croker Rock by Croker Island, to the left of the Indian Army Fjord, north of Vancouver, British Columbia, October 9, 2013. Three weeks later, in the right photo, the sea stars have disappeared.

According to a new study by Cornell University in collaboration with the University of California, Davis points out that the combination of sea warming and infectious disease has crushed the huge stars of sunflower sea that were wide along the North American coast.

Since 2013, the starfish wasted disease has reached enormous mortality in many ocean star species from Mexico to Alaska. The east coast has not been immune, because the evil has affected the shores of New Jersey to New England.

Dr Cornell Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Drew Harvell said: “At the same time, the seaside sea stars, currently gorgeous, cannot be found on the California coast and are rarely found in Alaska. Sea stars are so low over the last three years, we think they are in the south of their range, and we have no data on North Alaska. ”

“Global warming due to a changing atmosphere is likely to be a key factor. The ocean wave – the result of an increase in atmospheric temperature – exacerbates the wastage of sea stars. It is a lethal disease and if you add a higher temperature, it kills faster, causing more impact. ”

“Fisheries depend on the close proximity of coastal kelp forests to create a healthy environment for fish and the wider ocean ecosystem. With the disappearance of sunflower sea stars in some places, the marine lake population has exploded, significantly reducing the kelp.

Diego Montecino-Latorre, a wildlife epidemiologist with UC Davis One Health Institute and co-author, said: “The sunflower starfish continues to decline even in the deepest ocean, and it is not recovering in the same way as the inter-register Ocher star. ”

"It's possible because there are many hosts for this disease, and other species that can tolerate the pathogen better can spread it to the sunflower."

Joseph Gaydoss, senior author of the document and director of the UC Davis SeaDoc Society program, said: “In California, Washington, and parts of British Columbia, sunflower sea stars are kept under urine control. In addition to sunflower stars, urchin populations are expanding and threatening kelp forests and biodiversity. This cascade effect really has a great impact. ”

Between 2006 and 2017, scientists and trained local scientists led the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) to run 10,956 winding sweater reviews from Southern California to Alaska. Before 2013, the sweaters discovered many sea stars, but from 2013 to 2017 the population collapsed.

Researchers from Simon Fraser University and Hakai Institute approved the remote island of Calvert in British Columbia. The warming of the ocean registered at REEF sites is associated with an increase in water temperature to 4 degrees Celsius, which began in 2014.

NOAA scientists reviewed sunflower sea stars in a large number of deep trawls from Mexico to Canada fringes and recorded a 100% drop in all countries in deep water up to 1000 meters.

For this study, "The Disease Epidemic and Marine Waves are linked to the continental collapse of Pivotal Predator (Pycnopodia Helianthoides)," the other partner institutions included Simon Fraser University, Stanford University, Hakai Institute, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Injection (NOAA).

The study is published in Science Advances.


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