To assess the variation of sea star (Asteroidea) populations in the Northern Gulf of California and look for evidence of sea star ulcerative lesions, counts of sea star species were recorded in 2019 using a standard belt-transect technique of 30 m2. During surveys, scuba divers also measured sea stars' diameter and examined them for ulcerative lesions. Ulcerative lesions were noted on Phataria unifascialis only. To verify changes in abundance and size of the two most abundant species, P. unifascialis and Pharia pyramidata, historical data from 2009, 2010, and 2016 were used as comparison and using the same methodology. To evaluate differences in abundance or diameter in sea star species over time, analysis of variance tests (ANOVA) were used. We found a significant reduction in diameter for the species P. unifascialis and P. pyramidata over time (<0.0001), but only P. unifascialis also showed a significant decrease in abundance (P=0.018). The decrease in diameter recorded for these two species, along with the signs of ulcerative lesions found on one of them in 2019, suggest that a potential mortality event occurred and, as a result, new younger (i.e., smaller) recruits could be recovering the population. These results highlight the importance of population monitoring to understand complex reef community dynamics.

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