Monday, September 8, 2014

The Sea Otter and the Kelp Forest


A prime example of a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship would be that of the sea otter and the kelp forest. Both parties of the relationship play a critical role in the balance of life in the kelp forest ecosystem.

The sea otters need the stability of the kelp plants so that they are able to anchor themselves while eating. They will wrap themselves in the kelp leaves so that they won't drift away with the ocean current.

The presence of the sea otters is also equally important to the health of the kelp forests. By eating mussels, sea urchins, and other crustaceans, the sea otter helps to combat predators that feed on the kelp. Without the help of the sea otters to control the population of these predators, the kelp would be unable to regenerate at a fast enough rate, and the entire balance of the ecosystem would deteriorate.



Sources:
Bratcher, Rory. "Symbiotic Relationships in the Kelp Forest Ecosystem." Synonym. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fclassroom.synonym.com%2Fsymbiotic-relationships-kelp-forest-ecosystem-7273.html>.

Photo: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01973/yawning-otter_1973063i.jpg



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