The ecology of Yellowstone is truly one of its own and you will learn fast it expands past the park boundary. We learned the importance of everything from a rock to a wolf. we learned a portion of the many intertwined effects and results of Yellowstone. we mainly focused on the bark beetle and the white bark pine. the white bark pine is the most defenseless tree in Yellowstone against insects and the most productive for animal consumption. we learned about the decline of the white bark pine population and the effect it might have on the animals that consume it. for example grizzly bears and black bears use this as a major food source when preparing for winter. and since the decline of these trees biologist have noticed a increase in bears killing elk calves so get their food.this shows us how adaptive and compatible some of these creatures are but their is some that arnt.
when we talk about species that cant cope with change we look at the pika. pika are a very climate sensitive species who cannot handle heat. scientist have observed pika perishing on the presence of temperatures as low as 72 degrees Fahrenheit. this makes pika a massive study area. we can use pika populations to monitor climate change because they will start to dissapear with increased tempratures. as tempratures rise they will be forced to higher elevations and if they cool the will expand to lower ranges. this is a very useful tool for biologists to get a better understanding of the planet.
Some animals have a major effect on the ecology. for example the wolf. the reintroduction of the wolf changed the park emensley. the wolves lowered the elk herds substantially. lowering the elk herds allowed a chain of events to follow. elk feed on willows and trees along streams and river. reducing elk allowed these willows and trees to strive. these trees and willows great a stable creek bank and reduce erosion from their root structures. and with the willows we see more bird species coming thru the park. however we also can now support the disappearing beaver population with the new abundance of willows and trees.
i could go on for days about these ecology circles. however i am not going to do that. i wanted to express how something can effect something so different in so many ways. Everything in nature has an importance value that sometimes cant be measured or understood. so what i want you to take from this is that nothing is truly more important than anything else and everything has value and should be respected in that manner.