Discussion: Ecology and Biodiversity
How much impact can the loss of one species actually have on an ecosystem (the other living organisms and natural features in a given area)? After all, most species have become extinct during the history of life on the Earth. As you explore this week’s resources, you may gain a stronger understanding of how the loss of a species can impact the survival of other species. Biologists that study ecology have discovered that the decrease or loss of particular species has a much greater impact on an ecosystem than the decrease or loss of other species. Species with a much stronger influence in their ecosystems are called keystone species.
For this week’s Discussion, you explore and analyze one keystone species, the gray wolf, and its influence on the ecosystem in and around Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Then, based on your analysis, you recommend a policy to benefit this particular ecosystem.
Write a recommendation (2+ paragraphs) for a policy that benefits the ecosystem in and surrounding Yellowstone National Park in which you:
- Briefly summarize the recommendation
- Explain how the recommendation you offer will benefit the ecosystem of the region.
- Identify one possible barrier your recommendation may encounter and a suggestion on how to address the barrier
- Describe how your thoughts might apply to other ecosystems facing human related challenges.
- Reference to at least two authoritative sources of science information that are not included in the Resource section of the course. Please avoid about.com, buzzle.com, ask.com, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commercially or religiously inspired websites when referencing scientific information.
Please cite sources in APA Format