We investigated the physical role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in vascular homeostasis in the basal chordate Botryllus schlosseri, which has a large, transparent, extracorporeal vascular network encompassing an area >100 cm2 We found that the collagen cross-linking enzyme lysyl oxidase is expressed in all vascular cells and that in vivo inhibition using β-aminopropionitrile (BAPN) caused a rapid, global regression of the entire network, with some vessels regressing >10 mm within 16 h. BAPN treatment changed the ultrastructure of collagen fibers in the vessel basement membrane, and the kinetics of regression were dose dependent. Pharmacological inhibition of both focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Raf also induced regression, and levels of phosphorylated FAK in vascular cells decreased during BAPN treatment and FAK inhibition but not Raf inhibition, suggesting that physical changes in the vessel ECM are detected via canonical integrin signaling pathways. Regression is driven by apoptosis and extrusion of cells through the basal lamina, which are then engulfed by blood-borne phagocytes. Extrusion and regression occurred in a coordinated manner that maintained vessel integrity, with no loss of barrier function. This suggests the presence of regulatory mechanisms linking physical changes to a homeostatic, tissue-level response.