An analysis of the sea otters effects on the ecosystem

Healthy kelp forests, the study explains, then promote robust kelp forest fish populations as well as filter-feeding mussels due to increased particulate organic carbon in coastal waters. Increased fish populations as a result of the kelp forests means birds such as gulls and bald eagles will diversify their diet to include more fish and small mammals and rely less on other birds and macroinvertebrates as part of their overall diet.

An analysis of the sea otters effects on the ecosystem

Rodents of which the beaver is one are not closely related to otters, which are carnivorans. It is not to be confused with the marine ottera rare otter species native to the southern west coast of South America. A number of other otter species, while predominantly living in fresh water, are commonly found in marine coastal habitats.

The extinct sea mink of northeast North America is another mustelid that had adapted to a marine environment. Subspecies Three subspecies of the sea otter are recognized with distinct geographical distributions. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, E.

Northern sea otters possess longer mandibles lower jaws while southern sea otters have longer rostrums and smaller teeth. The sea otter is one of the smallest marine mammal species, but it is the heaviest mustelid.

Cold water is kept completely away from the skin and heat loss is limited.

An analysis of the sea otters effects on the ecosystem

The nostrils and small ears can close. The front paws are short with retractable claws, with tough pads on the palms that enable gripping slippery prey. The sea otter walks with a clumsy, rolling gait on land, and can run in a bounding motion.

Sea otter - Wikipedia How The river otter plays a very important role in the ecosystem. The Lontra Canadensis is a predator species, and in many rivers it is one of the top predators.
Otter Habitat | What Is Their Place in Nature? The blog is written by Biol Writing in Biology students at UMass Amherst Tuesday, February 21, Sea Otters and How They Affect the Ecosystem Sea otters are well known for being adorable furry creatures that eat constantly while floating leisurely on their backs.
Sea Otters Homogenize Mussel Beds and Reduce Habitat Provisioning in a Rocky Intertidal Ecosystem Yields from ocean fisheries are approaching their upper limits Botsford et al. One can assume that removals of this magnitude must have some appreciable impact on ocean ecosystems; but to what extent has the species composition and biodiversity of the ocean changed as a result of fishing?

Its relatively large kidneys enable it to derive fresh water from sea water and excrete concentrated urine. The sea otter is diurnal.

It has a period of foraging and eating in the morning, starting about an hour before sunrise, then rests or sleeps in mid-day. To casual observers, it appears as if the animals are scratching, but they are not known to have lice or other parasites in the fur. Although it can hold its breath for up to five minutes, [31] its dives typically last about one minute and not more than four.

Otter Habitat | What Is Their Place in Nature?

In this pouch preferentially the left onethe animal stores collected food to bring to the surface. This pouch also holds a rock, unique to the otter, that is used to break open shellfish and clams.

It can chew and swallow small mussels with their shells, whereas large mussel shells may be twisted apart. To pry an abalone off its rock, it hammers the abalone shell using a large stone, with observed rates of 45 blows in 15 seconds.

Although each adult and independent juvenile forages alone, sea otters tend to rest together in single-sex groups called rafts.

A raft typically contains 10 to animals, with male rafts being larger than female ones. To keep from drifting out to sea when resting and eating, sea otters may wrap themselves in kelp.

Biologizing: Sea Otters and How They Affect the Ecosystem

The cry of a pup is often compared to that of a seagull. Sea otters are polygynous: However, temporary pair-bonding occurs for a few days between a female in estrus and her mate. Georg Steller wrote, "They embrace their young with an affection that is scarcely credible.

Initially, the objects it retrieves are of little food value, such as brightly colored starfish and pebbles. The fur trade that began in the s reduced the sea otter's numbers to an estimated 1, to 2, members in 13 colonies. In about two-thirds of its former range, the species is at varying levels of recovery, with high population densities in some areas and threatened populations in others.

Sea otters currently have stable populations in parts of the Russian east coast, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and California, with reports of recolonizations in Mexico and Japan. After the years of the Great Hunt, the population in these areas, currently part of Russia, was only Applying these measurements and estimates to the North American range of sea otters within our study area results in a ‐to ‐teragram (Tg) increase in C due to the indirect effects of sea otters on kelp.

Declining biomass is an expected effect of fishing on populations and is necessary for the density-dependent increase in production that is the basis for sustainable fisheries harvests, but in many cases overfishing has resulted in the collapse of populations and the fisheries that depended on them (e.g., northwest Atlantic cod).

5 Ecosystem Services--Sea otters are also a keystone species in sustaining healthy kelp forests off the California coast. These kelp forests provide many valuable services, directly and indirectly, to humans. These services include reduced shoreline erosion, improved habitat for numerous.

Sea cows lived in kelp forests and fed on kelp, thus raising the question of the relative importance in driving the sea cow’s demise of the direct effects of human exploitation vs.

the indirect effects of reduced food or altered habitat caused by the ecological extinction of sea otters. In the absence of sea otters, these areas would have an NPP of 25–70 g C m −2 yr −1 and biomass density of 8–14 g C m −2.

Over an ecosystem area of approximately × 10 10 m 2, the effect of sea otter predation on living kelp biomass alone represents a to teragram increase in C storage.

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the.

New Study Reiterates Sea Otter’s Importance to Coastal Ecosystem | The Raft Online