Describe what would happen in your ecosystem if one of your herbivores was hunted to extinction (consider the effects on all aspects of the food web).

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Herbivores are animals that consume only plants for their dietary needs.  The extinction of an herbivore would have a debilitating effect for the carnivores that probably fed on this type of animal.  Now the carnivores have one less meal choice to choose from.  So that will put a strain on the other animals considered prey for the carnivores.  It potentially could have a positive/negative effect on the amount of vegetation available within the ecosystem.  Positive, in that the plants this particular herbivore was consuming now are not being consumed;  negative, in that the lack of plant consumption has now increased the competitiveness of all the plants struggling for survival.  The balance between producers, herbivores, and carnivores is a delicate part in the maintenance of an established ecosystem.  Interrupt too many links in the food chain, and the whole thing can come screeching to a halt.

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