Unit 1 - Part 1 A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem An ecosystem without a keystone species would be dramatically

Unit 1 - Part 1 A keystone species is an organism that...

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Part 1 A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem. An ecosystem without a keystone species, would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. Keystone species have low functional redundancy. This means that if the species were to disappear from the ecosystem, no other species would be able to take its place. The ecosystem would be forced to change drastically, allowing new and possibly invasive species to populate the habitat. Any organism, from plants to fungi, may be a keystone species; they are not always the largest or most abundant species in an ecosystem. However; almost all examples of keystone species are animals that have a huge influence on food webs. The way these animals influence food webs varies from habitat to habitat. Part 2 Sea otters are a keystone species. For food they Sea otters eat urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species. Sea otters eat approximately 25% of their weight in food each day to support their high metabolism. Sea otters live in shallow coastal waters off the northern Pacific. Currently, sea otters can be found in Canada, Russia, Japan, California and Washington, but the majority of all wild sea otters are found in Alaskan waters. Sea otters spend much of their lives in the water and can dive up to 330 feet when foraging for food. They sometimes rest in coastal kelp forests, often draping the kelp over their bodies to keep from drifting away. Sea otters are also one of the few mammals other than primates known to use tools. They use small rocks or other objects to pry shellfish from rocks and to hammer them open. For reproduction, their mating season is throughout the year and the litter size is generally one pup, but they can give birth to twins Part 3 1 How did the Tofino first nation Nuu- chah - nulth celebrate their connection to the sea otter? They prized the animals' pelts for their warmth and the prestige they bestowed on their wearers. Luxuriantly dense and soft, otter fur was worn as chiefs' regalia and was given in potlatches to mark coming-of-age ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. Aboriginal songs,

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