|Population & community ecology|
|Topics relating to population & community ecology iinclude population biology, considered here, and COMPETITION and KEYSTONE PREDATOR dealt with in other sections.|
Research study 1
Results of a 50yr study on population changes in ochre stars Pisaster ochraceus in Monterey Bay, California are presented by a consortium of west-coast researchers. The study focuses on 3 sites, one dominated by mussels Mytilus californianus and the other sites being relatively mussel-poor. Major observations are: 1) sea-stars are much smaller now at the mussel-dominated site, but in greater abundance, and 2) the reverse is true at the other 2 sites. In fact, in 2005 only a few relatively large individuals are seen at these last sites. The authors speculate on causes of these changes, such as the possibility of size-selective predation by sea otters at the first site, but are unclear on what factors may have been involved at the other 2 sites.
Ochre stars Pisaster ochraceus forage
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