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Coral Reef Food Web

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by Camila Ayres on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Coral Reef Food Web

Coral Reef Food Web Camila Ayres
Pd. 3 Producers Phytoplankton Seaweed Coralline Algae Calcareous Algae Sea grass Primary Consumers Orange Sea Sponge Purple Sea Urchin Krill Queen Conch Secondary Consumers Caribbean Lobster Barramundi Tertiary Consumers Tiger Shark Blacktip Reef Shark Decomposers Polychaete Worm Fan Worms Cushion Sea Star Food Chain #1 Food Chain #2 * Producer: Seaweed
* Primary consumer: Purple Sea Urchin
* Secondary Consumer: Cushion sea star
* Tertiary consumer: Tiger shark * Producer: Seagrass
* Primary consumer: Queen Conch
* Secondary Consumer: Caribbean Lobster
* Tertiary consumer: Blacktip Reef Shark Two top carnivores in my food web Tiger Shark Blacktip Reef Shark What would happen if all the primary consumers became extinct? Describe what would happen if all the decomposers became extinct? What would happen happen if a non-native species severely depleted the population of producers in your food web? Why food webs with many species are more resilient than those with few species? Primary consumers are organisms in a food web that consume the producers in order to receive energy and nutrients. In most of the ecosystems, these organisms are herbivorous, animals that consume plants. Upon the extinction of all the primary consumers, there could be an impact in all the trophic levels of the food web and there would also be a creation of an unstable ecosystem. This situation would trigger extinction of secondary, tertiary or even producer organisms. Secondary consumers would not have animals to feed from- primary consumers being their main diet- by not having this; they would starve or maybe use producers as their energy source, which is not ideal. This would cause, as said before, extinction or even migration or evolution of the species. The same would happen with tertiary consumers since they depend on secondary and/or primary consumers in their diet, they would not have food or energy sources and become extinct or migrate as time goes by. Nevertheless, possible impacts could affect the producers in the system, many of which rely on primary consumers for pollination or seed distribution. It can be seen as a “domino effect,” all trophic levels are stacked like blocks and if the bottom, or close to bottom one falls, all other blocks on top ill become unstable and fall; this is exactly what would happen if primary consumers became extinct. Decomposers in a food web are those organisms that break down dead organisms through the process of decomposition. Their main role is to eliminate the “garbage” like plants and animals in an ecosystem. Many consequences would arise from the extinction of decomposers and these include the following: All of the “garbage” for instance dead plants or animal parts would build up, therefore disrupting the nitrogen cycle. This means that nitrogen could not be returned to the soil and there would be no circulation of nutrients in the atmosphere. Another effect would be that this situation would destroy nature as the dead plants and animals remain accumulated in nature, consequently, the soil will become infertile because of the lack of nutrients. As the result of infertility of soil, the plants will not grow and hence due to absence of the producers the grazing food chain will not start and animals will starve to death. In just a few words it could be said that with the extinction of decomposers, the detritus food chain will end. The population of producers in a food web include plants, algae and microscopic organisms that capture energy and uptake nutrients from their surroundings; they are known for making their own food. So, if the population of these producers were depleted by another species, the food web would become unstable. The producers are at the bottom block of a food web and it could be said that all of the other organisms depend on them. They are the ones that do not need of anybody to survive, however, other animals need them to survive. If some of these would be removed, there would be an impact mainly on primary consumers in the short run but an impact in all organisms in the long run, coming back to the domino effect discussed earlier. Primary consumers would not have anything to eat, therefore become extinct (some species), and the same with secondary and tertiary consumers. Food webs with many species are more resilient than hose with few species are more resilient for one reason; they are more likely to stay stable even after disruptions. This is because the more species, organisms, or animals there are in a food web, the less impact an extinction or interruption will have in the whole food web. In a system or food web where species are limited, the loss or temporary reduction of any specie could disrupt the whole web, whereas in a food web with more species, the impact would not be as great. This is mainly because the more animals there are, the more options of adapting they will have as well, what is meant by this is that animals will have more options to feed themselves with other animals if their main source dies out. Sunlight Seaweed Purple Sea Urchin Cushion Sea Star Tiger Shark Sunlight Seagrass Queen Conch Caribbean Lobster Blacktip Reef Shark Sunlight Bibliography “Coral Reefs.” National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/multimedia/coral-reef-food-web/staff/?ar_a=2&ar_r=999>.
“Corals.” Ocean Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/coral02_zooxanthellae.html>.
“Decomposers in the Ocean.” Tutor Vista. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://www.tutorvista.com/science/decomposers-in-the-ocean#>.
Exploring Nature. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://www.exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=2&detID=1221>.
“Primary Consumer.” Ehow. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/facts_6185943_primary-consumer_.html>.
“Trophic Levels.” Net Industries. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://science.jrank.org/pages/6977/Trophic-Levels.html>.
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