asked in Social+Philosophy by ELITE (3,032 points) 5 21 40
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answered by LEGEND (6,006 points) 5 9 19
I do not think that human beings are keystone species. Keystone species are species whose existence are critical to the survival of other species and the environment. Without the species, there would be a drastic change in the environment. So yes the environment would change but in a positive way because without humans, there'd be no pollution, no deforestation, no of killing animals and destruction of wildlife etc. Other species would thrive in their natural habitat with no obstruction.

If plants which are the primary producers seized to exist, ultimately there'd be no life. However if humans seized to exist, other lower animals can take up their role in biological processes. For example animals also give off Co2 that plants use during photosynthesis.
replied by ELITE (3,032 points) 5 21 40
Hi! Thank you for your response.

While I totally agree with everything you said, I would like to open up a discussion about how humans have done so much to alter the environment. To be considered keystone species, one has to have a critical impact to the ecosystem that its disappearance will result to an ultimate change in the way the interactions behave. As you mentioned, if humans seize to exist, other lower animals can take up their role. Please note that our species rests on top of the food chain, so how much impact do you think will it have on lower species? Are we really not worthy to be called keystone species?
replied by LEGEND (6,006 points) 5 9 19
As I said before, without humans, there'd be a major shift in the environment. Not in a way that it would threaten other species but rather strengthen their life span. Even the domestic animals work revert back to their original biology. There's a possibility of extinction for them but there's also a high probable chance of adopting wilder ways. 

There'd be no more deforestation and destruction of habitat to accommodate man. Slowly, manmade structures will disintegrate, earth will be repopulated by fauna and flora in many years to come. No more pollution, the oceans and the atmosphere will be cleansed off and pure again. 

Man will no longer be on top of the food chain. Although initially there'd be drastic increase and decrease of some species. Naturally, predator and prey relationship would balance this. Man has always altered the environment so without man, nature would run its full course. 
replied by ELITE (3,032 points) 5 21 40
Ahhh, yes! Reminds me so much of James Lovelock's Gaia theory of the Earth being a self-regulating system capable of maintaining the conditions of life.

Again, thank you.

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