Investigating the disappearance of long-spined sea urchins

Today’s Video of the Day comes from a new study from UC San Diego that investigates the disappearance of long-spined sea urchins, which play an important role in managing reef algae.

It is thought that in 1983 alone, more than 90% of long-spined sea urchins died off, causing algae to overrun Caribbean reefs. But now, even 30 years later, the urchins have still not recovered.

The study found that this lack of recovery is not due to competition with any other urchin species, but rather, is related to an aggressive urchin competitor known as the Threespot Damselfish.

By Rory Arnold,

Source: UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography