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Definition of indicator species

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by Magpye:

A plant or animal species related to a particular kind of environment. Its presence indicates that specific habitat conditions are also present.

These are unique environmental indicators as they offer a signal of the biological condition in a watershed or ecosystem, and are a warning system that pollution has entered the food web.

They can be abundant or dominant in the community, and occasionally can be a keystone species. The term indicator species is a bit misleading, as indicators are often whole groups of flora/fauna types which can be used to assess environmental condition.

Most indicator species are fish, invertebrates, periphyton and macrophytes.

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