Why was Star Paine removing starfish from the ecosystem he was studying?

What was the purpose of Dr Paine throwing starfish off the rocks?

Bob Paine, an ecologist who conducted seminal experiments along the coast of Washington state in the 1960s, pulling starfish from the rocks and tossing them back into the ocean to demonstrate the consequences of disrupting an ecosystem with the removal of a single “keystone” species, died June 13 at a hospital in …

What happened when starfish were removed from the ecosystem?

Altogether, the removal of the predatory starfish had quickly reduced the diversity of the intertidal community from the original 15 species to eight. … The mussels were very strong competitors for that space, and without the starfish, they took over and forced other species out.

What happens when you remove the predator starfish from a single outcropping?

They were eating a lot of other things as well, but they were eating mussels… [CARROLL (narrated):] So Paine asked, what happens when you remove the predator starfish from a single outcrop? [PAINE:] You have to surprise them, because a starfish clamps down. It takes a strong wrist and a pry bar.

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What happened when Robert Paine removed the starfish?

When Paine removed the stars from the system, mussels quickly crowded out other species. Comparable dynamics were later demonstrated for keystone species in other marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

What did Paine discover by removing the keystone species from the ecosystem?

He found a similar chain reaction — or “trophic cascade,” as he called it — when sea otters vanished or were removed from an environment because of fur trading, pollution or marine predators.

What would happen if there were no starfish?

The sea star die-off may indirectly help otters by increasing the availability of high-fat, high-protein sea urchins. … When sea stars die, urchins come out of hiding and overgraze on kelp, creating a shortage of food and habitat for otters, fish, and other marine life.

What conclusion did Paine reach after 7 years of research?

What conclusion did Paine arrive at after seven years? 4 7:06 8:44 • Keystone species are species in a food web that have large direct and indirect effects on the abundance and number of species in an ecosystem. Keystone species are often apex predators and are instrumental in maintaining the structure of an ecosystem.

What ecosystem did Robert Paine study his team of researchers?

In a noteworthy 1966 paper, Paine described a rocky intertidal ecosystem in Makah Bay in Washington state, where top predator species help maintain biodiversity. This led to his 1969 paper in which he proposed the keystone species concept.

What was Paine’s hypothesis?

Paine (1966) had observed that the diversity of organisms in rocky intertidal ecosystems declined as the number of predators in those ecosystems decreased. He hypothesized that some of these consumers might be playing a greater role than others in controlling the numbers of species coexisting in these communities.

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What happens to species diversity if we remove starfish from the northwest US tidal pool ecosystem?

Sea stars are an iconic symbol of California’s rocky intertidal habitats, inhabiting tide pools and low intertidal benches. … With the recent loss of many sea stars to disease, mussel beds may expand toward the water and monopolize space, thus reducing biodiversity.

What term did Paine coin to explain his observations?

5. Why did Paine choose the term keystone species to describe his sea star observations? If you build an arch, the two sides need to put pressure on the center, or apex, of the arch. If you remove the keystone (the wedge-shaped stone at the apex), the whole structure collapses.