Sea Otters: Their Role in Structuring Nearshore Communities

@article{Estes1974SeaOT,
  title={Sea Otters: Their Role in Structuring Nearshore Communities},
  author={James A. Estes and John F. Palmisano},
  journal={Science},
  year={1974},
  volume={185},
  pages={1058 - 1060}
}
A comparison of western Aleutian Islands with and without sea otter populations shows that this species is important in determining littoral and sublittoral community structure. Sea otters control herbivorous invertebrate populations. Removal of sea otters causes increased herbivory and ultimately results in the destruction of macrophyte associations. The observations suggest that sea otter reestablishment indirectly affects island fauna associated with macrophyte primary productivity. 

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Reexamination of stratified faunal components of a prehistoric Aleut midden excavated on Amchitka Island, Alaska, indicates that Aleut prey items changed dramatically during 2500 years of aboriginal occupation, probably the result of local overexploitation of sea otters by aboriginal Aleuts.

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...

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