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indicator species

See at indicator (def 6). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for indicator species
  • Seasonal pool indicator species rely on seasonal pools as essential habitat.
  • Some are considered by scientists to be indicator species and are a way of telling whether or not a river or lake is polluted.
  • The species is also used as indicator species in severely polluted systems and is sometimes the only species found in these areas.
indicator species in Science
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. Compare keystone species.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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