Hello! We discussed more in depth today the concept of foundation and keystone species, and I understand examples wherein, for example, kelp is the foundation species. Without it the biotic aspects of the ecosystem crumble…the kelp is like an anchor for the foodchain. However, I’m a little fuzzy on keystone species. I get that once you take out a top predator, everything crumbles in like a keystone in an arch…is it because the predator is gone and thus the prey population explodes, exhausting resources, so everything stops functioning, or is it more specific than that? if thats the case then why isnt every situation in which a predator leaves in whatever capacity a keystone situation/any predator is a keystone? is isle royal a keystone situation when the wolves leave and the elk overshoot carrying capacity?

thanks, Miriam

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