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Keystone Species

APBIO-LN2A1H

Ecologically speaking, a typical keystone species is a small predator that prevents a particular herbivorous species from eliminating dominant plant species. Jaguars, a classic keystone species, inhabit wide habitats in Central and South America and consume more than 80 different herbivorous species including tapirs, capybaras, and monkeys.

Which of the following predicts the MOST likely effect of a decrease in the Jaguar population?

A

The tapir population will decline.

B

The tapir population will increase.

C

The grass population (a tapir food source) will increase.

D

The monkey population will decline.