Elephants are a keystone species. They carve pathways through impenetrable under brush shaping entire ecosystems as they create pools in dried river beds and spread seeds as they travel.

keystone species

A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem. Without its keystone species, the ecosystem 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 fill its ecological niche. The ecosystem would be forced to radically change, 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 fo… Continue Reading


Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/keystone-species/