A species is considered a 'keystone' when it plays an essential role in determining the structure of an ecosystem. Keystone species tend to have a disproportionate influence on their ecological community based on their size and/or abundance.
A classic example is an ecosystem engineer like the beaver (genus Castor).
On the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, another keystone species, the prairie dog, continues to alter (even determine) the ecosystem. Yet now, taken out of context by the Anthropocene, the critters' effects may be for the worse...
Featuring Dr. Tim Seastedt
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Fellow, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
University of Colorado at Boulder
Shot on Nov 14th and 19th
Cut on Nov 20th
[Also, I borrowed and manipulated the Mustela nigripes and Athene cunicularia footage. The original sources are cited at the end of the film.]
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