Saturday, May 27, 2006

Study: Overfishing Puts Southern California Kelp Forest Ecosystems at Risk; 'So Sensitive'

Santa Barbara, California (May 25, 2006 22:19 EST) Overfishing presents a much greater risk to the kelp forest ecosystems that span the West Coast -- from Alaska to Mexico's Baja Peninsula -- than the effects of run-off from fertilizers or sewage from the shore, say scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The findings have important implications for the design of California's Marine Protected Areas.

In an article published in the May 26 issue of Science, researchers describe the first study to compare the top-down versus bottom-up human influences on the food chain of the kelp forest ecosystems.

BASICALLY, only nutrient inpuits at extreme levels from run-off are very detrimental to the nutrient rich kelp forest ecosystems. However, removing top predators creates an abundance of prey, many herbivores, which devestate the kelp forests... read more here.

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