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? asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 10 years ago

how and what are indicator species used for?

question says it all - also, could you please give me a simple explanation to what an indicator species is because i'm not entirely sure wether i understand what they are (examples would be good) lol :) x

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  • Cool
    Lv 5
    10 years ago
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    Lindenmayer et al.suggest 7 alternative definitions of indicator species:

    1.a species whose presence indicates the presence of a set of other species and whose absence indicates the lack of that entire set of species;

    2.a keystone species, which is a species whose addition to or loss from an ecosystem leads to major changes in abundance or occurrence of at least one other species

    3.a species whose presence indicates human-created abiotic conditions such as air or water pollution (often called a pollution indicator species)

    4.a dominant species that provides much of the biomass or number of individuals in an area

    5.a species that indicates particular environmental conditions such as certain soil or rock types

    6.a species thought to be sensitive to and therefore to serve as an early warning indicator of environmental changes such as global warming or modified fire regimes (sometimes called a bioindicator species)

    7.a management indicator species, which is a species that reflects the effects of a disturbance regime or the efficacy of efforts to mitigate disturbance effects.

    Type 1, 2, and 4 have been proposed as indicators of biological diversity and types 3, 5, 6, and 7 as indicators of abiotic conditions and/or changes in ecological processes.

    Simply to say ..

    indicator species,...an organism—often a microorganism or a plant—that serves as a measure of the environmental conditions that exist in a given locale. For example, greasewood indicates saline soil; mosses often indicate acid soil. Tubifex worms indicate oxygen-poor and stagnant water unfit to drink. The presence of certain species of plants suggests how well other species might grow in the same place.

    http://www.eoearth.org/article/Indicator_species

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-indicator-speci...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioindicator#Descript... ( with examples and types )

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indicator_plant

    examples:

    http://web.ead.anl.gov/ecorisk/fundamentals/html/c...

    http://www.scienceclarified.com/He-In/Indicator-Sp...

    http://science.jrank.org/pages/3553/Indicator-Spec...

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