Sea otters are a keystone species and are vital to the overall health and diversity of the kelp forest ecosystem by controlling herbivorous invertebrates.
Sea otters are vital to the overall health and diversity of the kelp forest ecosystem. Their presence is believed to be important in the evolution of kelp forest ecosystems.
Sea otters are considered a keystone species and play a major role in the community by controlling herbivorous invertebrates. Sea otters prey on sea urchins, thereby preventing sea urchins from overgrazing the kelp forest. This allows the kelp forest to thrive and contributes to an increase in marine diversity.
The variety in the sea otter diet reduces competition between benthic grazers and supports greater diversity in those species.
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• Sources | (Allegra & Gunderson 2012; Cohn, 1998; Estes, 1980; Estes & Duggins, 1995; Estes & Palmisano, 1974; Estes, Smith, & Palmisano, 1978; Jessup, et al., 2004)