What happened to the biodiversity of the ecosystem when Robert Paine removed the starfish?

When Paine removed the stars from the system, mussels quickly crowded out other species. Comparable dynamics were later demonstrated for keystone species in other marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

What happened when Dr Paine threw all the starfish out of the ecosystem?

Payne went and threw out all the starfish from off of rocks hoping to increase the number of species on the rock by removing the predator. After a year and a half, the species actually decreased by about half. This is when Payne discovered the idea of keystone species.

What happened when starfish were removed from the ecosystem?

Altogether, the removal of the predatory starfish had quickly reduced the diversity of the intertidal community from the original 15 species to eight.

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What did Paine discover about species diversity when sea stars the predators were removed from this environment?

He found a similar chain reaction — or “trophic cascade,” as he called it — when sea otters vanished or were removed from an environment because of fur trading, pollution or marine predators.

What was the effect of Robert Paine removing the top predator sea star from the tide pool?

When Paine removed Pisaster from tide pools, mussels quickly overran the site, crowding out other species and establishing a monoculture.

What did Robert Treat Paine do?

Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was an American lawyer, politician, and Founding Father of the United States who signed the Continental Association and the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts.

What happens when you remove a predator from an ecosystem?

The most obvious result of the removal of the top predators in an ecosystem is a population explosion in the prey species. … When prey becomes more scarce, the predator population declines until prey is again more abundant. Therefore, the two balance each other. When the predators are removed, prey populations explode.

What is diversity and biodiversity?

The term biodiversity (from “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life.

What is the effect of removing a keystone species from an ecosystem?

Without its keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. Keystone species have low functional redundancy. This means that if the species were to disappear from the ecosystem, no other species would be able to fill its ecological niche.

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What role do starfish play in the ecosystem?

A starfish is a marine invertebrate. … So starfish are predators, and they’re probably the most important predator in the shallow ecosystem – so the depths where we would dive or swim. They eat basically anything that they can come across. Their feeding activities control the whole ecosystem.

What happened to the kelp when Professor Paine removed all the sea urchins?

[CARROLL (narrated):] Paine removed all the urchins by hand from some pools and left nearby pools untouched. Again, the results were dramatic. In the pools where he removed urchins, the kelp started growing almost immediately.

How many species disappeared in the sea star experiment?

One might expect that with the purple starfish gone, the species it preyed upon would thrive. Instead, most of the prey species disappeared. The initial community had 16 species. One year after removing the star fish, the community was down to just eight, including a snail that had not been there to begin with.

What observation did the scientist Robert Paine make when following these steps in conducting the keystone species experiment?

Paine’s experiments on the coast of Washington state showed that the starfish is a keystone species, having a disproportionately large impact on its ecosystem relative to its abundance.

How do keystone species factor in the overall food web of the ecosystem?

A keystone species exerts top-down influence on lower trophic levels and prevents species at lower trophic levels from monopolizing critical resources, such as competition for space or key producer food sources. This paper represented a watershed in the description of ecological relationships between species.

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