indicator species


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indicator species

n.
A species whose abundance in a given area is believed to indicate certain environmental or ecological conditions or suitable conditions for a group of other species.

indicator species

A species whose presence, absence, or relative well-being in a given environment is a sign of the overall health of its ecosystem. By monitoring the condition and behavior of an indicator species, scientists can determine how changes in the environment are likely to affect other species that are more difficult to study.
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Butterflies are introduced as an important indicator species of environmental quality and global change by Settele (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research--UFZ, Germany) and European colleagues.
Indicator species analysis (ISA) was used to identify bird species that best characterized each forest patch (Dufrene and Legendre, 1997).
Aspen or poplar trees are an indicator species for sweet soils that harbor worms, which attract them.
Emphasising their importance to the ecosystem, she said: "Butterflies are a really good indicator species - you can safely say if they are suffering, so too are a lot of insects which we don't monitor.
"Amphibians are an indicator species that could reveal further disturbances reverberating up the food chain in the future," McMenamin says.
One possible approach is to manage data-limited stocks as part of an assemblage and to determine the status of the entire unit by a data-rich indicator species. The utility of this approach was evaluated in analyses of 15 years of commercial and 34 years of recreational logbook data from reef fisheries off the southeastern United States coast.
"Despite the unfavourable hot weather experienced earlier this year, a wide range of fungi were recorded, including some of the grassland 'indicator species', such as snowy, meadow and parrot waxcaps.
Wetland indicator species made up 45% (35 species) of the total species present (Table 1), most of which were facultatively (Reed 1988; USFW 1996) associated with wetland conditions.
"Bats are an indicator species which means they indicate how green the area is and if there is a good mix of fauna and flora."
Are they an indicator species, a harbinger of global environmental crashes ahead?
"Although less threatened, the water shrew is equally important as a waterside indicator species."