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Ecology/Effects on an Ecosystem

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Question
I have to right this paper on the effects of hunting on the environment and I need evidence from an expert. My question is what happens to the ecosystem  when just one predator is hunted to extinction?

Answer
Hi Ethan
The effects may vary depending upon the situation. The first effect is the increase in the population of the prey.  Where I live in Ohio wolves and coyotes and some large members of the cat family preyed on deer.  They are gone (although coyotes are making a come back) and we have deer walking down the city streets.
IF the predator is the "Top Dog" of the food web the effects would be greater then if it was also prey. It also depends upon the diversity of the ecosystem. In a food web rabbits are the prey of a number of different predators. If only one of these predators is illuminated the effect might be minimal. In a biome with fewer species like a Desert biome if snakes were gone there would be an overpopulation of rodents.
 If the population of a prey species increases than there is a decrease in whatever species that is the source of energy for that species.
 Suppose that the lion on the African Savannah were wiped out. The first order consumers would increase and eat all of the grasses and die from lack of a food source.
 In summary the importance of the predator in the food chain would make a big difference.  

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walter hintz

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I can answer questions involving freshwater biology and oceanography and questions regarding ecological concepts and problems.

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I have an MSc in hydrobiology and have taught many courses in ecology and environmental science at the high school and college level

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