Marine Biology

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 263–267 | Cite as

Widespread mass mortalities of the green sea urchin in Nova Scotia, Canada

  • R. J. Miller
  • A. G. Colodey


Mass mortalities of sea urchins exceeding 84 000 t live weight or 2 900 t organic weight occurred during the autumns of 1980 and 1981 along the southern coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. The kill was nearly complete along 160 km of shoreline (straight-line distance) and was inter-mittent along another 280 km. Sea urchins in a variety of rocky habitats were affected, including areas exposed to and sheltered from ocean swell, with both dense and no macrophyte cover, and from 0–13 m depth. The cause of the mortalities was presumed to be a biological agent and was transferable in the laboratory. Colonization of the habitat by subtidal macroalgae and a subsequent large increase in benthic primary production is expected to follow.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Miller
    • 1
  • A. G. Colodey
    • 1
  1. 1.Halifax Fisheries Research LaboratoryDepartment of Fisheries and Oceans CanadaHalifaxCanada

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