The undersides of two abalone, on the healthy specimen, the abalone's flesh extends all the way to the edges of the shell. In contrast, the other abalone's flesh is shrunken and leaves a lot of shell visible around the edges
On the left, a healthy red abalone and on the right, a shrunken red abalone.

Survivors of Climate Driven Abalone Mass Mortality Exhibit Declines in Health and Reproduction Following Kelp Forest Collapse

A new publication from CMSI affiliate Laura Rogers-Bennett

Marine ecosystems are vulnerable to climate driven events such as marine heatwaves yet we have a poor understanding of whether they will collapse or recover. Kelp forests are known to be susceptible, and there has been a rise in sea urchin barrens around the world. When temperatures increase so do physiological demands while food resources decline, tightening metabolic constraints. In this case study, we examine red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) looking at sublethal impacts and their prospects for recovery within kelp forests that have shifted to sea urchin barrens.

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