Metabolic depression in sea urchin barrens associated with food deprivation

Nathan Spindel, Lynn Lee & Daniel Okamoto
The proliferation of sea urchins can decimate macroalgal forests in coastal ecosystems, leading to persistent barren seascapes. While kelp forests are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, productivity in these urchin barrens is dramatically reduced. Moreover, urchins inhabiting these food-depauperate barrens face starvation and many survive in these barrens for years or decades. Urchins in barrens can persist by eating food subsidies from drift algae, pelagic salps, tubeworms, as well as encrusting and...
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