New study to examine ecological tipping points in hopes of preventing them

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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? 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....
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