Marine (Coral Reef)
Biotic Factors- the living or used to be living organisms in a biome.
-sea snake -seaweed
-sea turtles -coral reef algae
-and many more!
Abiotic Factors- the nonliving things in a biome; help the biotic factors live.
-air (oxygen and carbon dioxide)
-warm waters (salt, clear, and clean)
-lots of sunlight
Carrying Capacity- the maximum population of a single species a habitat can support.
The resources that are needed for a population to survive are food, water, shelter, and space.
An example of a population that changes over time due to the availability of habitat resources in the coral reef is...
If the Benthic Algae population decreased due to limiting factors like pollution or etc., then the population of the Parrotfish will also decrease or eventually become extinct because of the decrease of food. Also, while the Parrotfish's population decreases, the population of the Barracuda will downsize because of the lessening of food availability. Therefore, when one population of organisms decline, it will also affect the another population of organisms to also decline. Another scenario would be if there were too many Parrotfish and ate too much of the algae, then the algae population would decline along with the Parrotfish population. So, then the algae to regain its population (increase) ,and then the Parrotfish population would also grow larger, meaning the whole thing would repeat itself. This shows in nature the carrying capacity is always being past or under the capacity.
Limiting Factor- any factor or condition that limits the growth of a population in a biome.
Example of Limiting Factors:
- global warming (too warm water temperatures)
-simple sedimentation (covering sunlight and/or coral)
- pollution from nearby land
- over-fishing (disturbing the balance too much)
- breakage or damage of the coral
- oil spills
- strong waves or currents
A predator/prey relationship in the coral reef ,and how limiting factors can affect them:
A predator vs. prey relationship in the coral reef is the Tiger shark (predator) vs. the Green sea turtle (prey).
If an oil spill happened near their habitat, the hunting would be tough for the Tiger sharks and the survival would be hard for both organisms. The chemicals in the oil would be unhealthy, unsafe, dangerous, and hazardous for the animals ,so they could begin to die of unhealth due to the exposure of the chemicals. Also, the murkiness of the water could effect the organisms' ability to get food, causing a big die-off.
If the coral reef's water was polluted with trash, it could harm the animals. If the turtle or shark either got caught into trash or ate it, it would be both dangerous for the animals, both unhealthy and dangerous. Then, they could be injured and unable to live in the water ,or the tiger would be unable to hunt. Either way, they would have many deaths.
Energy Roles- determined by how the organism gains energy and how it interacts with other living things in its ecosystem.
The three main energy roles are producers, consumers, and decomposers.
Producers in a Coral Reef Biome:
- coral reef algae
Producers get their energy from:
Producers get their energy from the sun, because of the chloroplasts in their cells. The chloroplasts allow the producers to go through the process photosynthesis for energy. Photosynthesis is the process of turning radiant energy (normally of the sun) into chemical energy used for life functions.
The energy role of producers in the energy transfer from the sun:
Producers are vital to any ecosystem because they transform the radiant energy of the sun into the usable chemical energy. Without the producers, all of the organisms would die because there is no energy that they can use. The producers provide the energy that fuels the entire ecosystem. This is why producers are always at the beginning or bottom or start of some organizer because they are the beginning of the chemical/useable energy.
Consumers in a Coral Reef Biome:
Herbivores (eats only plants):
- Parrotfish (as shown in the image below)
Herbivores get their energy from:
Herbivores get their energy from their food, plant or herbs. In the scenario of the coral reef ecosystem, the herbivores get their energy from feeding on mainly macroscopic and microscopic algae.
Carnivores (only eat meat):
- Barracuda (shown in the picture below)
- Sharks (varieties)
- Moray Eel
Carnivores get their energy from:
Carnivores get their energy from the food they consume, which are other animals (prey). In the coral reef, a carnivore's prey is most likely some kind of fish because there are so many out in the coral reef.
Omnivores (eats both plants and animals):
- Moorish Idol
- Reef Triggerfish (shown in the image below)
- Raccoon Butterflyfish
Omnivores get their energy from:
Omnivores also get their energy from the food they eat, plants and animals. In the coral reef, it could be some kind of algae and fish ,but there are many more possibilities.
Scavengers (eats the dead organisms ;left-overs):
- Decorator Crab (shown in the image below)
Scavengers get their energy from:
Scavengers get their energy from the food they eat, dead organisms (left-overs) and etc..
Decomposers in a Coral Reef Biome:
- Fan Worm (shown in image below)
- Sea Cucumbers
Decomposers get their energy from:
Decomposers get their energy from decomposing/eating dead organisms or wastes.
Food Chains and Food Webs
Food webs are more realistic than food chains because...
Food webs are more realistic than food chains for my ecosystem because food webs show more possibilities and organisms. In a food chain, it only shows some of the organisms in the ecosystem ,and it only shows one possibility of what an organism could eat. However, in reality, organisms eat more than one thing to gain energy ,and in a food web it will show all of these possibilities of an organism eating more than one thing. Therefore, food webs are more realistic than food chains because it shows all of the possibilities of energy flow.
If I removed abalone from my food web....
If I removed the abalone population from my food web, other populations would be effected by increasing or decreasing. The giant kelp population would be effected by increasing because without the abalone eating the kelp, the kelp could have a chance of increasing in population. The 11-armed seastar ,tiger shark ,and moray eel populations would be effected by decreasing because without anymore abalone to eat, each population has to go eat something else. There would be less food since there are no more abalone, so the competition in each population will rise due to the lessened food amount. The result of this could be that due to the decrease of food and competition for food in each population the populations would decline.
Trophic Levels and Energy Pyramids
Pyramids are used to represent energy pyramids because...
We use a pyramid rather than any other shape because the pyramid shows the amount of energy left in the organisms as you go up the pyramid visually. As you go up the pyramid, the smaller and smaller it gets, this is the same idea as the energy. As you go farther in a chain or pyramid, the less and less energy there is in the organisms because much of the energy has been taken/used already.
Producers are in the largest sections and top predators are in the smallest section because...
Producers are in the largest level because they have the most energy and population. Since producers are first on the pyramid they start with all of the energy for the whole ecosystem, and since many organisms eat them they must have a high population. Top Predators are in the smallest level because they have the least energy and population. While you go up the pyramid the smaller it is, the same with the energy, it gets less and less. Since, top predators are at the very top, the food they eat have the least energy left in them. Therefore, to get enough energy to be able to live, the top predators have to eat more ,so their population is smaller due to carrying capacity. The carrying capacity relates to this by how the top predators need to eat more, so there is only a few of them because then there is enough just to support the few.
The Process of Photosynthesis:
Chemical Equation of Photosynthesis:
Ingredients for Photosynthesis (needed):
- Carbon Dioxide
- (Sun) Light
Outcome of Photosynthesis (makes/create):
- Oxygen (excess)
Within a plants' cells, photosynthesis takes place in...
the chloroplasts. Within the chloroplasts, there is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll, isthe green pigment in the chloroplasts, that allows the plant to be able to convert the radiant energy of the sun, into the chemical energy in the form of glucose, or sugar. Therefore, photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplasts, or chlorophyll within a plants' cells.
Energy Transformation in Photosynthesis:
During photosynthesis, the plant transforms the Sun's radiant energy into chemical energy, which is their food, glucose/sugar.
Tropisms- the turning or bending movement of an organism toward (positive) or away (negative) external stimulus, such as light, heat, gravity.
Examples of Tropisms in a Coral Reef:
- Sea grass growing towards light because needs to have light to survive, this is an example of Phototropism.
- Algae that grows on coral or etc., this is an example of Thigmotropism.
- Roots of mangroves have negative geotropism because it is the way that mangroves get most of their air to survive. (the roots go down then back up)
Tropisms help plants in the coral reef survive by...
These tropisms help the plants in the coral reef survive by changing their growth and availability to essential resources. For example, if there was a patch of sea grass that was blocked away from the sun because of other grass, phototropism would allow the patch to somehow move to wear it were the patch could have enough light to live. If the seagrass didn't have the tropism, the patch most likely would have died due to the lack of sunlight. Therefore, this proves that tropisms can determine whether plants will survive or die.
Decomposers are vital to the coral reef because...
Decomposers are vital to may ecosystem ,because they break down the waste products and dead organism into organic compound or biomass for the living plants to be used as fertile and rich soil. The plants use the fertile soil to grow ,and they use the nutrients in the soil. If there were no decomposers in my ecosystem, the waste products and decaying organisms would fill the reef. Then, without decomposers breaking down the decaying things for fertile soil, the plants would start to die off because of the lack of nutrients they need to survive. Next, the consumers would all start to die off due to lack of food and nutrients. Eventually, all living things on earth would die off.
Examples of decomposers in the coral reef:
Some of the decomposers in the coral reef are: fan worms, sea cucumbers, snails, crabs, bristle worms, and bacteria.
Importance or purpose of having adaptations:
The importance of having adaptations is that it helps organisms to survive and reproduce in their environment. These adaptations help the organisms a better chance of survival in their environment and get to the chance of reproduction. For example, colored or patterned fish can use their outer color to camouflage with the surrounding coral or rocks. Another example is many fish have adapted to be very maneuverable ,so they can move through the complex shaped coral easier.
More Coral Reef adaptations:
- Some coral has adapted by creating toxins to keep away predators. This helps them survive longer by having less predators eat or break them.
- Some coral reef fish have adapted their bodies to a pancake-like shape (flat). This shape body make the fish more maneuverable ,so it can get around its environment more efficiently.
- Seagrass roots are adapted to be stronger. This is beneficial to the plants because they will keep the plant in place during strong ocean currents.
- Many plants in the coral reef have larger plants cells. This is a adaptation because it helps the plant get enough sunlight it needs for survival or photosynthesis.
Moving an organism of the Coral Reef to a different biome...
If I moved an organism from the coral reef to a different ecosystem, the organism would most likely die. For example, if I removed any of the fish in my biome to the desert, the fish would certainly die. The fish would die because it's not adapted to live in the desert ,and the fish needs lots and lots of water to survive and the desert doesn't provide that. Since the desert is really dry, the fish would die from the inability to breathe because the fish breathes through the water. This shows that organisms would adapt well in one biome may not adapt well to another.
Natural Selection - the process by which certain inheritable traits become more popular/common in a population over successive generations
Natural selection is important because...
Natural selection is important for organisms in an ecosystem because the inheritable trait that helps the species with survival will become more common. So, as the species' generation goes on, the trait that helps with survival with become more common ,so the offspring will have better chance of longer survival.
An example of natural selection in the Coral Reef:
Studies have shown that coral does go through natural selection. In warmer current trends ,also known as bleaching, the algae that live inside the coral die ,and this is harmful to the actual coral because the algae is required for the coral to live. However, recent studies have shown that hurricanes ,normally disastrous and devastating also caused by intense low pressure, actually have been able to benefit the coral against this problem (as long as they aren't too close). When a hurricane passes near a coral reef ,the intense winds cooled the water temperature ,making the coral have a less chance of being affected by the bleaching. Research has shown that coral ,without the cooling of the hurricanes ,were 90% bleached with no recovery until the cooling of the winter season. So, during the warmer period of the year, these coral experienced more damage (healthy population lower) ,but the coral with the hurricane cooling were not effected ,so their coral was less damaged (healthy population higher).