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Identifying Wildlife: Using Principal Species to Determine Invertebrate Distribution

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

About the Author

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Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PhD, is a Bangladeshi forest researcher who has worked extensively on the ecology and management of the country's forests. He has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers and is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Dr Rahman is currently working as a senior Research Officer at, Forest Protection Division (Forest Pathology), Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Name: Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

Email: [email protected]

In any chemical reaction, there are several reactants which can be present in different ratios. The principal species is the one that is most prevalent and has the most impact on the overall reaction. There are a few ways to determine what the principal species is.

The first way is to look at the stoichiometry of the reaction. This will give you an idea of which reactant is present in the largest amount. Another way to determine the principal species is by looking at the rate of reaction.

The reactant that causes the greatest change in rate will likely be the principal species. Finally, you can also look at products of the reaction to see which one is formed in the largest quantity.

Chapter 10: Principal Species | CHM 214 | 100

  • The first step is to identify the major species present in the sample
  • The second step is to determine the relative abundance of each species
  • The third step is to calculate the mean number of moles of each species present
  • The fourth step is to calculate the standard deviation of the distribution of moles for each species
  • The fifth and final step is to determine which species has the highest concentration and thus is considered the principal species

How to Find Principal Species

In ecology, a principal species is a species that exerts strong control over the abundance and distribution of other species in an ecosystem. The concept of a principal species was first proposed by Robert MacArthur in 1955. There are several ways to identify principal species.

One way is to look at the trophic level of each species in an ecosystem. Trophic levels refer to the position of a species on the food chain. Species at the top of the food chain, such as predators, typically have greater control over other species than those at lower trophic levels.

Another way to identify principalspecies is to look at keystone species. Keystone species are those that have a disproportionate impact on their ecosystems relative to their abundance. For example, although sea otters make up only 0.01% of the biomass in kelp forest ecosystems, they play a vital role in controlling sea urchin populations.

Without sea otters, sea urchins would consume all of the kelp, leading to the collapse of these entire ecosystems. Identifying principal species can be important for conservation efforts because these are typically the most threatened or endangeredspecies within an ecosystem.

How to Determine Principal Species


What is a Principle Species?

A principle species is a species that has a high abundance and/or biomass in an ecosystem. They can also be keystone or foundation species. Principle species typically have large populations and play important roles in the functioning of ecosystems.

Foundation species are often the primary producers in an ecosystem, meaning they produce the food that other organisms rely on. They provide structure and support for other organisms, and their removal can cause drastic changes to an ecosystem. Keystone species are predators or herbivores that help to keep populations of other animals in check.

They can also be pollinators or seed dispersers, playing vital roles in plant reproduction. The loss of a principle species can cause major disruptions to an ecosystem and the animals that depend on it.

How Do You Determine Dominant Species in Chemistry?

In order to determine the dominant species in a chemical reaction, you need to consider the relative concentrations of each species. The most important factor is the equilibrium constant of the reaction. This determines how far the reaction will proceed and which products will be favored.

If the equilibrium constant is large, then the products will be favored and the reaction will proceed to completion. If the equilibrium constant is small, then reactants will be favored and the reaction will not proceed very far. The other important factor is the relative stability of each species.

The more stable a species is, the more likely it is to be present in higher concentrations. For example, if one product is much more stable than another, it will be present in higher concentrations even if its equilibrium constant is smaller. You also need to consider whether a reaction is reversible or not.

If a reaction is reversible, then both products and reactants can coexist in equilibrium. In this case, you need to consider both the forward and reverse reactions when determining which species are dominant. Finally, you need to consider kinetic factors.

Even if a particular product has a higher concentration than another product (because its equilibrium constant is larger), it may not actually be present in higher amounts if it reacts faster than other products do.

What are Major And Minor Species in Chemistry?

In chemistry, there are two types of species: major and minor. Major species are the most abundant and tend to be involved in the majority of chemical reactions. Minor species are less abundant and often play a more limited role in chemical reactions.

What are Predominant Species?

A predominant species is a species that is the most common or abundant in an area. In many cases, the predominant species will be the one that has the greatest impact on its environment.


If you want to know how to determine the principal species in a reaction, there are a few steps you can follow. First, identify the reactants and products in the reaction. Next, look at the stoichiometry of the reaction to see which reactant is being used up more quickly than the others.

Finally, use your knowledge of chemical kinetics to determine which species is likely to be the limiting reagent. By following these steps, you should be able to accurately determine the principal species in a chemical reaction.

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