The biome in the algae forests in Tierra del Fuego has not changed since 1973. This conclusion was made by scientists from the National Geographic Society, who analyzed the diversity of starfish, sea urchins, and algae living off the southern coast of South America. The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Tierra del Fuego is a region in the southernmost tip of South America, off the coast of which are some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. However, global warming has a strong influence on them – in particular, the inhabitants of algae forests are at risk.
The researchers conducted an analysis of ecosystems in algae forests in the vicinity of Tierra del Fuego – such measurements have not been carried out in the region since 1973. Data collected by scuba divers has shown that the ecosystem has not undergone significant changes, with populations of algae, sea urchins and starfish remaining similar to those that divers observed in 1973.
Scientists note that although these algae have remained relatively unchanged in recent decades, they are projected to suffer from rising sea temperatures in the coming years.