Scrubland ecosystem depends on a shrub, Banksia, to maintain multiple ecological functions through mutualism.

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"One example of a keystone mutualist is Banksia prionotes, a shrub in the Proteaceae. At certain seasons of the year, honeyeaters and other nectar-feeding birds in the scrublands of southwestern Australia must rely solely on Banksia flowers for nourishment. The rest of the year, these honeyeaters vector pollen for many other plants and play an important role in maintaining what is, along with South Africa's fynbos, one of the most diverse plant communities outside the tropics. Eliminate Banksia and there go honeyeaters, followed by any number of plant species dependent on their services." (Baskin 1997:47-48)

Work of Nature: How the Diversity of Life Sustains UsJanuary 1, 1997
Yvonne Baskin

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