According to a new study conducted by Cornell University in collaboration with the University of California, Davis suggests that the combination of seawater and infectious diseases has destroyed the populations of huge sunscreen stars that were once rich along the western coast of North America.
Since 2013, the scionic starfish disease has reached tremendous mortality in many species of ocean stars from Mexico to Alaska. The east coast is not immune because the disease affected the coasts from New Jersey to New England.
Drew Harvell, Cornell's professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, one of the main authors, said: "One time in the abundance of marine stars, sunflowers of the sea stars are currently not found on the coast of California and are rare in Alaska. The number of sea stars has remained so low in the last three years, we consider them vulnerable in the southern part of their range, and we do not have data for northern Alaska. "
"Global warming due to changes in the atmosphere is probably the main factor. Talas heat in the oceans – a product of increasing atmospheric temperatures – is worsening marine star disease. It is a deadly disease, and when you add a higher temperature, it kills faster, causing a greater impact. "
"Fisheries depend on the forests of seabirds that make the end of the coast to create a healthy environment for fish and the wider ocean ecosystem. With the collapse of sea stars of sunflowers, the sea turbot population exploded in some areas, which significantly reduced the sea trachea.
Diego Montecino-Latorre, a wildlife epidemic in the UC Davis One Health Institute and one of the leading authors, said: "The Sunflower Sea Star continues to decline even in the deepest ocean and is not recovering in the same way as the tidal wave of the Oceania.
"This is probably due to the fact that this disease has many hosts, and other species that best tolerate a pathogen can extend it to the sunflower star."
Joseph Gaydos, a senior author on paper and director of the UD Davis SeaDoc Society, said: "In California, Washington and parts of British Columbia, sunflower stars keep the beef under control. Without stars of sunflower, the population of canoes spreads and threatens the forests of sea algae and biodiversity. This cascade effect has a really great impact. "
Between 2006 and 2017, scientists and reputable scientists from the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) conducted 10,956 twisting jumpers from Southern California to Alaska. Before 2013, jumpers have discovered the abundance of marine stars, but between 2013 and 2017 the population has failed.
Researchers from the Simon Fraser University and the Hakai Institute have confirmed this accident from a remote Calvert island in British Columbia. Ocean warming recorded at REEF locations refers to the expansion of water temperatures up to 4 degrees Celsius that began in 2014.
NOAA scientists reviewed sunflowers from sea stars in a large number of deep boulders from Mexico to Canadian margins and recorded a 100-percent reduction in all waters in deep water up to 1,000 feet.
For this study, "The disease epidemic and the marine thermal wave are associated with the collapse of the continental scale of the key predator (Pycnopodia Helianthoides)," the other partner institutions are Simon Fraser University, Stanford University, Hakai Institute and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The study was published in Science Advances.