15 Importance of Starfish In The Ocean
Starfish or also known as sea start is one of the ocean animal that is interesting to be known deeper.
We can actually find this animal easy since it’s exist in the shallow till the deepest part of the ocean.
This is possible because starfish has so many species which is about 1,5000 species.
The size and color of the starfish also differ from one species to another. Starfish also known through its arm it has 5 arms with high regeneration ability.
So, the arms can grow again once it is cut and another fun fact is that starfish has no brain and blood. In the shallow area of the ocean, starfish existence can be found easily in the seabed or simply sea bottom area. You may find it easy in the sea floor and look at it doing nothing.
But actually, this small and doing nothing looked like animal has such an importance of starfish in the ocean. So to let you to know more about starfish here are some of its importance in the ocean ecosystem.
1. Act as a predators
The first importance is the act of sea star or starfish as a predator. Without starfish the amount of their prey will go higher and make the ecosystem unbalance. This is not only applied for starfish but also applied for another types of ocean predators.
2. Act as a prey
Besides having an act as a predator in the ocean, starfish also having an act as a prey. It will become a food for some marine animals to keep them alive in the ocean by also surely maintaining the amount of starfish population.
3. Balancing food chain
By having a role as a predator and a prey beneath the ocean this means that starfish actually hold a really important role just like any other living being.
Without starfish, ocean food chain may become unbalance and a certain species may endangered due to the low amount of prey or high amount of predators. There are lots of the importance of marine food chain that make us need to maintain the balance.
4. Maintaining the ecosystem
Another importance of starfish in the ocean is that it feeds on almost everything in the ocean even though it is specified as a carnivore.
When it feeds on debris in the ocean somehow starfish is helping the nature to maintain the ecosystem by cleaning it up.
The accumulation of debris beneath the ocean may cause some changes in the ecosystem. Such as less space because of the debris accumulation and etc.
5. Become a keystone species
Starfish also become a key stone species in the ocean ecosystem. Key stone species means that the decreasing number of starfish that look not so important can create a really huge impact towards the ocean ecosystem.
6. Preventing the boom of sea urchin species
Since starfish also feeds on something which one of its prey is sea urchin so starfish has a role to prevent the boom in sea urchin population. The boom in sea urchin species may affecting the food chain below it.
See also: Types of Sea Urchins
7. Preventing the kelp population to decrease
Continuing the previous point, basically sea urchin is feed on kelp. When there is less starfish means there will be more sea urchin and less kelp.
If this kind of condition keep happening means the population of kelp in the ocean may start to decrease because there is more sea urchin that need food.
See also: Types of Kelp
8. Preventing the altering of the food chain
The altering of food chain may sound simple but it surely will create a huge impact on something. The altering of food chain is not only affecting the diet of the living beings but it can also be a change in behavior since the diet is now different. This is one of the importance of starfish in the ocean which is to prevent the food chain altering.
See also: Plants in The Ocean Biome
9. Indirectly maintain the oxygen supply in the ocean
Since starfish is feed on the sea urchin to prevent it consuming kelp too much until it is not exist again means starfish has an indirect role to the kelp.
By its existence starfish can maintain the amount of kelp population to stay in its number and to produce oxygen as it should as a plant. So by then the amount of oxygen will be maintained.
10. As a key animal to prevent the spread of disease
Starfish feeds on almost everything including debris in the ocean bottom. It become a key animal since it may become the only species that can eat debris in the deepest part in the ocean.
There are lots of starfish species that we can find in the shallow till deepest bottom part of the ocean. By this, eating the debris means that the starfish can prevent the disease coming from the bacteria that is living in the debris to spread out.
See also: Animals in The Ocean Biome
11. Indirectly maintain the ocean water temperature
Since starfish is indirectly maintaining the population of kelp and sea grass from extinction due to the high amount of sea urchins, there is another impact of this.
If kelp or another marine plants are still exist and they can produce oxygen it means that the water temperature in the ocean will be still maintained. It won’t be too hot or too cold.
See also: Importance of Ocean Temperature
12. Keep one of the ocean habitat to stay exist
Even though starfish is known as a marine animal that lives in the ocean floor and can be found nearly in any depth of the ocean and look like it does nothing but it actually does something important.
One of the importance of starfish in the ocean that it can done by eating is that it keep the kelp population still exist. Kelp is not only has a role to act as a food but it also have a role for another animal for example as a habitat for another marine living beings.
Without starfish, another living beings may not able to have a place to stay since the kelp population will be decreased due to the increasing number of sea urchins.
13. As a key animal to eliminate abnormal fish
Starfish feeds on almost everything. It will also feeds on abnormal fish that is easily to get sick and remove them from the food chain and ecosystem.
Somehow their diet habit to eat the sick fish can help the ecosystem to get better since surely there will be more health fish exist in the ecosystem. By then each healthy fish can do their role in the ocean perfectly.
See also: Types of Ocean Fish to Eat
14. Preventing coral bleaching to happen
Since starfish feeds on almost everything in the ocean bottom including the dirt it can also help the coral reef from bleaching.
By feeds on the dirt around the coral reef habitat, plankton and another small beings that live in the coral reef to give the the coral reef food can get the sunlight perfectly. It is because it is able to do photosynthesis perfectly.
15. Act as a water filter
Starfish has no blood but it has a water vascular system. Through this system actually starfish has another role that is beneficial to the ocean ecosystem.
Because of the existence of the water vascular system, starfish is able to filter the ocean water. Ocean water filtering is surely important since it will maintain the ocean water to stay clear.
Clear water will help the living beings beneath the ocean to do any kind of activity that is involving water for example to breath.
So those are the importance of starfish in the ocean. I hope this information can be useful to you whether it is to help you to gain more knowledge or to let you to know more about what is happening in the deep ocean ecosystems.
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