Can Sea Urchins Beat the Heat?
Bennington College Faculty member Betsy Sherman has a paper in the award-winning biological and medical sciences journal, PeerJ. Her research examines sea urchins’ tolerance for increases in ocean temperature.
The long-spined sea urchin had a massive die-off in the mid 1980s; while populations have recovered in some reefs, the looming threat of increasing temperatures due to global climate change had not been studied in adult sea urchins.
Sea urchins are important components of coral reef ecosystems. If water temperatures increase faster than the sea urchins can adapt, this will have serious consequences for the structure of coral reefs.