Marine Ecosystem Portfolio

This is a marine ecosystem

Biotic factors
ANIMALS: Sharks, Eels, Stingrays, Manatee, Shrimp, Sea Turtle, Star Fish, Jelly Fish, Dolphin, Octopus
PLANTS: Kelp, Algae, Coral, Phytoplankton

Abiotic factors
water, temperature, sand, nutrients, soil, rocks, whirlpool, climate change, storms, Sunlight

Carrying Capacity and Changes in a Population
CARRYING CAPACITY: the number of living organisms that one region can support. The resources needed for a population to survive include: food, water, shelter, and space.
DOLPHINS: in this dolphin population, there is a prediction of what might happen to the Maui Dolphins in 15 years based on the decrease in their population since 1970. If the squid population continues to decrease then the Maui Dolphins will die of starvation and become extinct.

As you can see, if the squid population continues to decrease there will be more competition between the dolphins, they will become extinct.

Limiting factors and predator/prey relationship
LIMITING FACTORS: the resources of an environment that limit the population of an ecosystem. Some examples of limiting factors in a marine ecosystem are temperature, if it gets too cold or too hot some organisms may not be able to adapt to the temperature change and will die off. Another example is a bull shark, dolphins are the prey of many types of sharks. If the shark population increases then the dolphin population will decrease. If the shark population were to decrease then the dolphin population has a better chance of increasing, which would then decrease the squid population.

the maui dolphin is eating the squid

Energy Roles
Energy roles are the qualitative measure of the production of energy by an organism. Some examples of energy roles in a marine ecosystem are sun, kelp, squid, dolphins, and sharks.

PRODUCER: An organism that can produce its own food through the process of photosynthesis. One of the many producers in a marine ecosystem is kelp.
HERBIVORE: An animal that gets its energy from eating plants, ONLY PLANTS. An example of a herbivore in a marine ecosystem is a manatee.
OMNIVORE: An organism that eats both plants and animals. An example of an organism in this ecosystem is a sea otter.
CARNIVORE: Is an organism that eats meat or the flesh of other animals. An example of a carnivore in a marine ecosystem is a shark.
DECOMPOSER: An organism usually bacteria or fungus that breaks down the cells of dead plants or animals into simpler substances. A decomposer in the marine ecosystem is an amoebas.
SCAVENGER: Eats dead organisms in its ecosystem. An example of a scavenger in the marine ecosystem is a crab.

Producers are vital to an ecosystem because they are the base of a food chain. Primary consumers and territory consumers eat the producers. The main producers in a marine ecosystem are microscopic plankton.

Food Chains and Food Webs
Food webs are more realistic than food chains because it shows more individual predator/prey relationships

If I were to remove Dolphins from this food web, there would be a shortage of food for killer whales and sharks. They would probably die of starvation.

Trophic Levels and Energy Pyramids

The shape of an energy pyramid is a triangle because it shows the amount at which energy flows. Producers are the largest level because they hold the most energy, and top predators are the smallest level because they hold the least amount of energy. This represents the tropic levels.

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