The summer of 1986 saw a marked change in the ecosystem of Stellwagen Bank off the coast of Massachusetts. The most noticeable effect of this was the disappearance from the Bank of the Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae. From a biological research viewpoint the events of the past two summers were very dramatic and valuable since they verified some parts and clarified others of a model of the Stellwagen Bank ecosystem that we have been working on for several years. These events also provided a clearer understanding of the development and dynamics of the Stellwagen Bank ecosystem from the early 1970's until the present.

Note on the Author

John C. Jahoda is Professor of Zoology. Michael C. Ryer is Assistant Director of the Buttonwood Zoo, New Bedford, Massachusetts.