Sea urchins exploded in number after their predator, the Aleutian sea otter, became functionally extinct in the 1990s. Like any land-based forest, kelp forests sequester (take out) CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, transforming it into the energy they need to build their leafy structure. In the wake of this event, herbivorous sea urchins … Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Sea otters do an excellent job of eating large sea urchins over eight centimetres in diameter, but they tend to leave behind smaller urchins. Learn about the connections among sea otters, sea urchins, kelp forests, and climate change. Sea otters aren’t just cute ... Dr M Sanjayan, reveal how sea otters eat sea urchins which would otherwise devour the kelp and disrupt the rich web of life that relies on it. They estimate that the CO2 removed from the atmosphere via the otter-kelp link could be worth between $205 million and $408 million on the European Carbon Exchange. Fortunately, sea otters have an appetite for sea urchins and they help to keep sea urchins in check, allowing the kelp to flourish and capture CO 2. Loss of the habitat and nutrients provided by kelp forests leads to profound cascade effects on the marine ecosystem. Sea otters are such voracious eaters, West Coast crab and sea urchin fishermen have gone on record with concerns and cautions. At last! Some of the biotic factors include its predators and prey. It provides examples of how healthy, balanced ecosystems will be the best offense in a rapidly changing ocean environment. Sea otters, the “keystone predator" of Aleutian Islands’ kelp forests, experienced dramatic population declines in the 1990s. Wilmers and Estes were joined by Matthew Edwards, San Diego State University; Kristin L. Laidre, University of Washington; and Brenda Konar, University of Alaska. They found that otters "undoubtedly have a strong influence" on the cycle of CO2 storage. "But animals the world over, working in different ways to influence the carbon cycle, might actually have a large impact. Urchins eat kelp, and sea otters eat sea urchins. The sea urchin population decreases, and the kelp population increases B. Sea otters are known to eat 33 different types of prey – but each otter has its favorite 2 or 3, and usually sticks to these preferences its entire life. Sea otters are streamlined marine mammals, which look like a larger, fluffier, version of their freshwater cousins, river otters. The spreading kelp can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than if it were subject to ravenous sea urchins, the study finds. According to the Seattle Aquarium, sea otters consume around 25 percent of their body weight in food every day to stay warm and survive in the cold Pacific Ocean. Urchins eat kelp, and sea otters eat sea urchins. Sea urchins pose a humongous threat to kelp forests because they multiply quickly and eat at the holdfasts (roots) of kelp forests, feeding on the kelp frond where it … Mitigating increased CO2 in the atmosphere is a pressing issue in global environmental conservation with many obstacles and no easy solutions, the authors write. She disappears below the surface. Funding for the research came from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Sea otters live in communities with many other species including sea urchins, orcas, starfish, and many types of fish. 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