12/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Forget Person Of The Year, Debate The Most Important Species

If you thought the season for debates and voting had ended, think again! Some folks over in the UK -- specifically, the EarthWatch institute -- are debating which is the most important species in the world!

They've narrowed it down to five candidates, which one person here in the HuffPost office has already astutely pointed out are not actually species. Regardless, we're willing to arbitrarily vote on which is the most important to the world among bats, bees, fungi, plankton or primates.

Read summaries of scientists' cases for each of the most important species, then vote below:


'It keeps the trees alive, recycles waste and helps us'
Professor Lynne Boddy of the Cardiff School of Biosciences

'Bees are irreplaceable. Their loss will be catastrophic'
Dr George McGavin of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

'Plankton are the base of the whole food web'
Professor David Thomas of the School of Ocean Sciences, University of Bangor

'Bats provide a number of these essential services'
Dr Kate Jones of the Zoological Society of London

'Primate habitats provide ecosystem services we all depend upon'
Ian Redmond, chief consultant of the great apes survival project