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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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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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