By Mike Moyer
September 03, 2009
When urchin populations are allowed to flourish unchecked they devour kelp beds before they ever have a chance to become habitat for young herring and other fishes which require these areas for protection. We have no idea how large the kelp beds were in historic times but we do know that herring and other fish populations have a difficult time bouncing back after being hit hard by other factors. If urchin populations were kept in check this would help the herring and in turn produce more feed for salmon and other fishes. Kelp forests in turn help to provide cover for other invertebrates such as Abalone. A balanced marine ecosystem is healthier and more able to withstand negative impacts than a system that is missing one of its key members.
Received September 02, 2009 - Published September 03, 2009
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