Keystone Paine Zoologist Robert T. Paine, who coined the term "keystone species," had an unorthodox way of doing his work. Learn why keystone species are pivotal for the survival of all animal life on earth. They define an entire ecosystem. Here are some of them: Keystone species are an integral part of their ecosystem. Instead of just observing the habitat of the Pisaster ochraceus sea star, Paine experimented by actually changing the habitat. Some species are particularly important to the health and resilience of their ecosystems. Keystone species are significant in many ways.

The reasoning is sound: protect one, key species and in doing so stabilize an entire community. This 5 minute video explains 0:25 Definition of Keystone species and term proposed by Robert Paine 1:00 Why are Keystone species important? But the keystone species theory remains a young theory and the underlying concepts are still being developed.

Importance of Keystone Species. Here we explore the importance of Keystone Species. Keystone species, because of their proportionately large influence on species diversity and community structure, have become a popular target for conservation efforts. 2:40 Different types of Keystone species … These are called keystone species, and their absence can greatly affect the entire … 23 examples of keystone species, from jaguars to pacific salmon. Ecologist Robert Paine, who coined the term “keystone species” in the 1960s, observed the importance of such species in a study of starfish along the rocky Pacific coastline in Washington state. Without its keystone species, ecosystems would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. The starfish fed on mussels, which kept the mussel population in check and allowed many other species to thrive. Some species have a disproportionately larger effect in the system while maintaining a critical role in the structure of a specific habitat. The Importance of Keystone Species. Keystone species are integral to their specific ecosystem and habitat, as they play a role deemed vital to the existence of the species which share their home. Intact ecosystems perform many vital functions; air and water purification, turning decaying matter into nutrients, preventing erosion and flooding, and moderating climate.

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