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Press Release 11-141
Loss of Large Predators Caused Widespread Disruption of Ecosystems

Decline of "top consumers" may be humans' most pervasive influence on natural world

Back to article | Note about images

Image of sharks and smaller fish in a coral reef.

Fishing alters predator patterns; when large fish are removed, corals don't fare as well.

Credit: S. A. Sandin et al.


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Image of a wolf.

Wolves are among the many "apex predators" that have been affected by human activities.

Credit: National Park Service


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Image of a diver taking notes while examining a study area on the ocean floor.

Kelp increases when sea otters are abundant; otters limit the number of kelp-eating sea urchins.

Credit: P. Dayton


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Image showing a lake with largemouth bass on right and without largemouth bass on left.

Lake with largemouth bass (right), and experimentally removed (left); bass increase water clarity.

Credit: Steve Carpenter


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Image of an intertidal zone with many seastars.

Intertidal zone with many seastars; seastars eat blue mussels and so prevent their dominance.

Credit: D. Hart


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Image of Brier Creek, Oklahoma, with largemouth and spotted bass.

Brier Creek, Oklahoma, with largemouth and spotted bass; the bass promote a healthy stream.

Credit: Mary Power


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Cover of the July 15, 2011 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the July 15, 2011 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2011


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