A. Forbesi, the common sea star, are dying out in New England and possibly along the east coast. Help us figure out why and how to save them!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mark Bertness' Thoughts

Marine ecologist at Brown (EEB Dept. chair)
There is no mystery here. This happens every few years. Starfish have no way to osmoregulate and have no way to bail out freshwater. That's why there are no freshwater starfish, sea urchins or corals
What happens in Narragansett Bay is that pelagic baby starfish settle in the bay. They may be fine for a few years, but then we'll have a spring with intense concentrated rain that leaves a large lens of freshwater covering the bay that coincides with spring (large) tides. The tide goes out, exposing the starfish to freshwater, which flows into the starfish water vascular system and they pop like balloons

No comments:

Post a Comment