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IdeaFest: Interdisciplinary Journal of Creative Works and Research from Humboldt State University

Abstract

Predation within the intertidal zone, specifically regarding the predator-prey interaction between sea stars in Class Asteroidea and their food source, contributes to a large biodiversity of organisms. In this experiment, we compared the percent coverage of algae and shelled organisms within a quadrat surrounding three types of predatory sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus, Dermasterias imbricata, and Lepasterias hexactis) to determine their habitat based on predatory behavior. Our data showed a significant difference in algae and shelled organism coverage between different species of sea star; shelled organism percent coverage was less than algae percent coverage in all species of sea stars. The niche, or role and position a species plays in its environment, of each star ultimately influenced the frequency and diversity of other recorded organisms.

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