Wasted. What is happening to the sea stars of the NE Pacific Ocean?

Great overview and important information to know about sea star wasting. Chris

The Marine Detective

Last update: June 20, 2018
Sea Star Wasting Disease (SSWD) summary:

Additional research by Hewsen et al has found that, while a virus appears associated with the disease in Sunflower Stars, the situation is more complex and the virus does not appear to be the cause in other sea star species.  The cause is “likely a complex tango of diverse potential pathogens and environmental conditions” / “We speculate that SSWD may represent a syndrome of heterogeneous etiologies [causes] between geographic locations, between species, or even within a species between locations.”
Those considered in the paper in addition to viruses: Drought / excessive rainfall; freshwater toxins (transmitted by excessive rainfall post drought); temperature swings.
Does not let climate change off the hook. Quote by lead author: “Since some of those disease causes may include swings in temperature or precipitation, ultimately which may be related to climate change, we need to…

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About Chris Parsons

Science writer/educator exploring nature and sharing via words, images, data and stories — to connect, inspire and conserve.
This entry was posted in California coastline, Monterey Bay and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Wasted. What is happening to the sea stars of the NE Pacific Ocean?

  1. Agreed – excellent information

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