Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are marine mammals capable of spending their entire lives in water. Being carnivorous in nature, they feed on sea urchins, crabs, fishes, mussels and clams. They are referred to as keystone species due to their profound impact on marine ecology. The interaction between sea otters, sea urchins and kelp forests has been studied as a model for the impact of predator-prey interactions on community ecology. Sea otters are keystone predators, whose presence has a far-reaching influence on the marine food web by affecting the populations of sea urchins, which indirectly affects the populations of kelp forests & other marine organisms. There has been a steep decline in sea otter populations due to water pollution and exploitation for furs. This has affected marine ecology adversely. It is therefore suggested that sea otters should be included in the endangered species list to protect them from further exploitation. This study focuses on the community ecology of sea otters and their impact on marine ecology. The need for their inclusion in the Endangered Species list and the implications of such an intervention are also evaluated.
Sea otters predate on many herbivorous invertebrates, including sea urchins. Sea urchins feed on kelp forests, which are an important habitat for fishes and other marine organisms. A high population of sea urchins has an adverse effect on kelp forests. Since sea otters predate upon sea urchins, their populations ar...
... middle of paper ...
Community Ecology. eaglenet.lambuth.edu. Web. 28 July 2011. http://eaglenet.lambuth.edu/facultyweb/science/biology/RCook/community%20ecologyS10.pdf
Impacts on Biodiversity. Quebec Biodiversity Website. Web. 28 July 2011.
Interaction with kelps & sea otters. asnailsodyssey.com. Web. 28 July 2011. http://www.asnailsodyssey.com/LEARNABOUT/URCHIN/urchPopu.php
Laidre, Kristin L. “Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) community ecology”. staff.washington.edu. Web. 28 July 2011. < http://staff.washington.edu/klaidre/otter.html>
Soule, Michael E et al. “Ecological Effectiveness: Conservation Goals for Interactive Species.” Conservation Biology 17.5 (2003) : 1238-1250.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are marine mammals capable of spending their entire lives in water. Being carnivorous in nature, they feed on sea urchins, crabs, fishes, mussels and clams. They are referred to as keystone species due to their profound impact on marine ecology. The interaction between sea otters, sea urchins and kelp forests has been studied as a model of the impact of predator-prey interaction on community ecology. Sea otters are keystone predators, whose presence has a far-reaching influence on the marine food web by affecting the population of sea urchins in particular, and kelp forests & other marine organisms in general.... [tags: Ecology ]
1214 words (3.5 pages)
- All three theories by Heidegger, Bookchin, and Naess are based on the normative assumption: humans perceived themselves as being distinct from a world that unites both humans and non-humans. To better understand the distinguishments that each author makes in his theory, I will reconstruct each of their assumption. After that, we will explore the rational fashioning of integrative ways and the problems that it raises. In conclusion, there may be a reiteration of the assumption in our effort to act ethically according to the ecosystem.... [tags: Social Ecology]
1862 words (5.3 pages)
- Competition and predation are two key factors that affect the stability of an ecosystem, such as a lake. There are three theories on the affects of competition. Competition may lead to competitive exclusion, stable coexistence, or niche differentiation. It has been shown that in marine environments, species are strong competitors for both light and nutrients and thus competition leads only to competitive exclusion (Passarge et al. 2006). The competitive exclusion principle states that if two species compete for the same resource in the same location, then one of those species will go extinct because one species will be the better competitor (Jenson 2010).... [tags: ecology]
563 words (1.6 pages)
The Influence of Species Ecology on the Performance and the Generality of Species Distribution Models
- The ongoing alteration of ecosystems through human activity (IPCC 2007) endangers vitally important resources and leads to the rapid extinction of species world wide. Research is needed to assess the ecological impacts and consequences of this change, but for large parts of the world detailed species inventories are difficult – if not impossible – to obtain. Attempts to protect individual organisms (Gibson et al. 2004) or whole ecosystems (Williams et al. 2003) therefore increasingly depend on ecological modeling techniques.... [tags: Ecology ]
1469 words (4.2 pages)
- Ecology, or in Greek translation "study home", is the study of the interactions of organisms between it's enviornment. While biosphere means the whole worlds ecosystem. Why are these terms so important. The reason why they are important to everything on Earth because they hold and shape all organisms that live within them. Without organisms animals, plants, and everything that we know would never be able to survive. If ecology wasn't organized and delicate, the system wouldn't be the same to the environment or to the organisms that are and were here today.... [tags: environmental science]
1158 words (3.3 pages)
- As individuals who live in the USA, we are prepared with the necessary information about infectious diseases, which are a highly important matter for our health. However, as a developed country, we do not have as many disease outbreaks as the developing societies. Geographers and ecologists, have researched interconnection between geography, political economy and cultural ecology, which all relate to one another and therefore, could be described as ‘political ecology’. More specifically, in the article, “The political ecology of disease as one new focus of medical geography” by Jonathan D.... [tags: Environment, Ecology, Natural environment]
1094 words (3.1 pages)
- Bioerosion and Reef Ecology The breakdown of calcareous substrates among coral reefs, or bioerosion, is a facet of reef ecology too often forgotten. The process plays a much more important role than it is usually credited with. Bioeroding species, consisting of many different types of organisms that act on the environment in a seemingly endless variety of ways, interact with the ecosystem and with each other as part of the reef growth and degradation cycle. The degradation portion of this cycle, the part that is most often overlooked, is essential for the development of reefs as the diverse and beautiful habitats that we know them as.... [tags: Bioeroding Ecosystem Ecology Essays]
3565 words (10.2 pages)
- Design, Ecology, and Ethics “We need to design institutions (and cars and homes and toothbrushes, etc.) that make it easy for people to be good.” (Jim Farrell) Right now, if someone in America wants to be good to the earth and good to future generations, it’s hard. It’s expensive to purchase local, organic food. In the suburbs, to get to work and practice and the store and back home again on a schedule without a car is tricky if not impossible. To think about how and where and by whom nearly 100% of products in Target are made is to most certainly become ashamed.... [tags: Environment Ecology Essays Papers]
721 words (2.1 pages)
- In the original Greek "oikos" means, "house". So ecology is "the study of the house" the place where you live, or the environment which technically includes all those factors, both nonliving and living, that affect an organism. Ecology then is the study of the interactions of organisms in their environment includes both the living (biotic) and physical (abiotic) factors of the environment. It's also the science, which formulates and tests hypotheses about environment.... [tags: essays research papers]
1295 words (3.7 pages)
- Ecology An organism has several ways to avoid being prated upon. One way to avoid this is to practice crptis. Crypis is the action of organisms avoiding predation by blending in with their backgrounds and matching the color pattern of a bark, twigs or leaves. Palatable animals often utilize this strategy as well. Another type of defense is aposematism or warning coloratio. Organisms that produce noxious chemicals or accumalate them from food plants, advertise the fact that they are harmful with conspicous color patterns.... [tags: Papers]
1877 words (5.4 pages)