The keystone species concept provides a valuable framework for integrating findings across traditional disciplines that scale from the cellular level (chemical defense and chemosensory reception) and the organismal level (behavioral traits) to the community level (species interactions). Select bioactive compounds cause disproportionately large effects by connecting such seemingly disparate processes as microbial loop dynamics and apex predation. Outstanding examples of these “molecules of keystone significance” draw on four distinct compounds: dimethylsulfoniopropionate, saxitoxin, tetrodotoxin, and pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Through convergent evolution, they inform phylogenetically diverse species; initiate major trophic cascades; and structure respective communities within terrestrial, freshwater, coastal-ocean, and open-ocean environments. Their relevance to conservation biology involves the protection of threatened species or habitats in the face of natural- and human-induced disturbances.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 63 • No. 6