The death of such huge marine stars that scientists believe this could be the biggest disease outbreak observed in wildlife is linked to a new study of global warming. Star-creatures that lose the disease simply break apart and quickly progress to death, often leaving … a collection of "unconnected limbs," the researchers say.
Scientists believe the disease, which is once a bit of anxiety, destroys the starfish population because of the warming waters. "An increasingly hot or abnormal temperature has been shown to affect the prevalence and severity of marine infectious diseases," the study published Thursday in Science Advances.
Researchers have discovered that the devastation of sea stars seems particularly strong where water temperatures are highest, such as in shallow waters offshore – although ocean temperatures are usually rising. "The sea heat wave" triggered "a collapse on continental scale of a major predator," the study notes. From 2013, starfish disease is losing the disease "causing massive, continuing mortality from Mexico to Alaska," the study said.
"What we think is that hot water anomalies have made those marine stars more susceptible to the disease that has already been there," said study author Joe Gaydos, senior director of the SeaDoc Society at the University of California at Davis.
"To think that the warmer water temperature can cause the animals to get sick sooner … it's kind of a blow to two or two," Gaidos added. – He's a little nervous.
The study did not determine exactly how heat may have worsened the disease, but it looks more devastating, the higher the temperature. It is known that the waters that are getting warmer are more stressful for marine creatures, which probably leads to challenges for their immune system.
Dying sea stars can cause cascading ecological collapse, as animals that depend on beings suffer on their own – and animals that eat sea stars can multiply in destructive numbers as marine stars disappear.
The populations of sea urchins, once eaten by healthy sea stars, exploded in areas without predators. Then the hedgehogs swallow sea buckets, destroying algal forest ecosystems.
Posted in Daily Times, February 4father 2019.