Selection of Sap Well Trees by a Keystone Species : the Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)
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Sapsuckers are considered keystone species. The keystone at the top of an arch holds all of the stones in place; without it the arch would collapse. Similarly, a keystone species has a disproportionally large effect on ecological communities: if the keystone is lost, biodiversity will suffer. The purpose of this study was to learn more about the sapfeeding preferences of sapsuckers, as inferred from patterns of sap well scars in aspens.