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4015_Tutorial_4 - Chapter 3 Continued Threats to...

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Chapter 3 Continued Threats to Biodiversity
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Dominant Species  – are very  common in the community  and have a strong effect on  other members of the  community Ex: reef building corals, forest trees, large herbivores like deer
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Coral reefs are formed by massive colonies of tiny coral  animals called polyps.   They slowly build reefs by secreting limestone (calcium  carbonate) as a protective exoskeleton. When the polyps die – their empty limestone exoskeletons  remain as a platform for more corals to grow on.   The resulting reef is an elaborate network of crevices,  ledges and holes that serve as calcium carbonate  condominiums for a host of marine animals.
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Ecosystem Engineers – they  strongly modify the habitat, their  presence or absence changes the  community Ex: beavers, elephants
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Keystone Species A species whose contribution is greater than you would expect due to its overall biomass.
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