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Unit 5: Endangered and Keystone Species
KEYSTONE SPECIES
A keystone species is defined as one whose impact on its community or ecosystem is
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
The term “keystone” was coined by ______________________________ and was based
on his studies of the rocky shore communities in California. When he removed a top
predator (_______________________________) from a section of the shore, aggressive
____________________________ multiplied, reducing the original 15 species
assemblage to 8. (Species assemblage included sea urchins, anemones, barnacles, sea
weeds, hermit crabs, etc.)
Effects of Keystone Species
1. ______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Examples of Keystone Species include:
1. Starfish (keep mussel populations in check)
2. Sea otter (keep sea urchin populations in check…sea urchins eat a lot of kelp)
3. Gopher Tortoise (as many as 362 other species use gopher tortoise burrows for
shelter. The burrow can be 40 feet long)
4. American Alligator ________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
5. African Elephant __________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
6. Salmon ___________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
7. Beaver ___________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
8. Prairie dog _______________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
9. Horseshoe crab (Red Knots depend on their eggs)
SPECIALISTS
Specialists are ___________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Examples:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Generalists are __________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Examples:
1.
2.
3.
4.
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