Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Nov 01, 2012 - Predation by otters keeps urchin populations in check, allowing kelp - a favorite food of urchins - to flourish. But what if otters were harvested to near extinction for their fur?
November 1, 2012 - Terra Daily
The resulting overabundance of urchins would decimate the kelp forest, leaving little food or shelter for fish and invertebrates. And so it may go, as declines in these species are likely to affect others.Such is the potential trickle-down effect on the food chain of even subtle shifts in a single species - tipping points that can induce wholesale, sometimes irreversible change to entire ecosystems.... http://www.terradaily.com/reports/New_study_to_examine_ecological_tipping_points_in_hopes_of_preventing_them_999.html