The Rise and Fall of Marine Invertebrates
We’re investigating the rise and fall of marine invertebrates. Populations of animals like snails, sea stars, and sea urchins are known to increase dramatically and die-off suddenly. Sometimes, the population explosion is harmful to the environment—like when the coral-eating, crown of thorns sea star takes over and destroys a reef. In other cases, a large population of animals like the sea urchin may die off unexpectedly—leaving the reef vulnerable and without one it’s most important herbivors. We talk with researchers trying to uncover these mysteries of why populations grow and grow or die off suddenly.