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Prey for the oceans: How marine predators influence reef ecology

By Dyani Lewis

Marine biologist, Prof Robert Warner, discusses the relationship between marine predators and their prey. He also explains why marine environments may be more robust than terrestrial ecosystems in the face of human impacts.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Hi I'm Dyani Lewis, thanks for joining us. Predators often get a bad rap. The fearsome teeth of the great white shark terrified people long before the 1975 movie Jaws immortalised our panic. But our view of the natural environments around us has changed drastically over recent years, especially as we've seen the impacts of our own activities on almost every ecosystem that we touch. Even our view of predators is softening, as we recognise their importance in the ecosystems they are a part of. But what exactly happens to an ecosystem when its predators are removed? Does fishing out the marine predators irreversibly change our ocean communities? How effective are marine management practices at protecting the natural balance between predator and prey?
I'm joined on Up Close today by a marine biologist who has been looking for answers to these very questions. Robert Warner is Research Professor of Marine Biology in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bob is visiting the University of Melbourne on an Australian Academy of Science Selby Scientific Foundation Fellowship. Welcome to Up Close, Bob.


The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.