The recent evolution debate here at AllDeaf reminded me of a similiar phenomenon observed by Charles Darwin, who observed coral reefs, of all things.
Corals depend on the very base of the food chain in the undersea kingdom--Plankton and related varieties. What I find so fascinating about the 'food chain' and its related 'pyramid' is that it connotes dependency
Let's take the garden variety Great White Shark as an example; They are at the apex of the underwater food chain and shares this honor with no other animal, save Man. Conversely, the tiny plankton and its numerous cousins occupies the nadir, creating the base of the pyramid.
What happened if plankton were to become extinct? (I know it's impossible, though!) The base of the pyramid would be wiped out and the ripple effects would travel all the way to the apex, affecting even the Great White Shark. The end result is not pretty and would wind up with mass extinction of many different species of all shapes and forms.
Despite its tiny stature, plankton is definitely not a puny organism! This does hold a parallel for the human race, as well. We are at the apex of our food chain occupying the entire world, including surface, air and underwater organisms. Although I could be wrong, I would venture to guess that the ordinary plant occupies the 'base' of our food chain.
What would happen if the entire world was totally devoid of flora? A 'nuclear' winter may make this a very real possibility. This would have repercussions, wiping out nearly all fauna in the world and would severely wipe out nearly the human race as well.
In a nutshell, I'm gonna enjoy a couple of potted plants I have in my condo, and respect even the littlest and unseen things occupying Mother Nature's universe.