Disease outbreaks associated with recent hurricanes cause mass mortality of sea urchins in Nova Scotia

R. E. Scheibling, C. Feehan, J. S. Lauzon-Guay

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Field observations and laboratory experiments support the hypothesis that diseaseinduced mass mortality of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis can be associated with hurricane events that introduce a pathogenic amoeba Paramoeba invadens to coastal waters. The temporal pattern of morbidity and mortality of sea urchins observed in a large embayment on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia following Hurricane Juan in September 2003 and Hurricane Bill in August 2009, and in laboratory infection experiments during the 2009 event, closely conformed to that expected based on the known temperature-dependent dynamics of this amoebic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2010



  • Disease
  • Hurricane
  • Kelp beds
  • Mass mortality
  • Pathogen
  • Sea urchin
  • Temperature

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