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Star Grazing

Mussels and sea stars and sea grass, oh my! 

Take a closer look at global warming, keystone species, and the nutrient cycle in this interactive activity by NCSE Graduate Student Fellow Laurie Luckritz. Sea stars eat mussels that would otherwise take seafloor space from water plants like seagrasses. Water plants like seagrasses provide food and oxygen for the whole ecosystem, so it's important that mussels do not overrun the seafloor. Since mussels don’t have natural predators other than Ochre sea stars, removing the sea stars from their habitat would cause mussels to overtake the seagrasses, affecting all other species in the marine system.

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