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Planet Ventrath

Ecosystem Project
by

Shane Kelbaugh

on 29 May 2017

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Transcript of Planet Ventrath

Planet Ventrath
The Outer Edge
Ocean Planet
The Inner Edge
Horseshoe
Island
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
Ventrath's only significant landmass
Tall ridge of mountains provides shelter from hurricanes
Climate and
Weather
The Vayu Archipelago is a tropical ecosystem located on Ventrath's equator
Average temperature is 38 degrees Celsius
The region is continuously plagued with hurricanes with winds up to 300 km/h
It rains very often; around 250 cm per year.
Ventrath is over 99.9% ocean, and supports a large variety of marine life.
Volcanic activity along the equator has produced one small group of islands, the
Vayu Archipelago
.
Vayu Archipelago
This group of islands is home to Ventrath's only terrestrial life.
Ecosystem
The inner coast of Horseshoe Island hosts a vibrant ecosystem of wind-tolerant plants and animals.
The outer edge of Horseshoe Island is desolate. While some grasses can grow, the harsh winds keep larger plants and animals from prospering.
SUN
SOIL
Sawgrass
This rigid, short grass grows hard and sharp to cut through the wind. The sawgrass has thick roots that cling to the soil. Rain falls often, so it is not necessary to draw and maintain a lot of water.
Food Web
Squid Tree
These trunks spout hundreds of woody vines to grasp surrounding objects and support them against the wind. The trunks draw and store much water at their bases for stability.
Carion Beetles
Insect Larvae
Decomposers
Fungi
These organisms decompose dead remains and add their nutrients to the soil.
Producers
Ironback
These brown, armoured beasts are 4m long and stand 1m tall. They are grazers, eating mainly the tough sharp grasses of Horseshoe island's plains.
Snapjaw
These share the 6-legged reptilian form of most other animals on Horseshoe Island. The stand 2m tall and are 3m long including the tail.
Snapjaws use their sharp beaks to break through the tough bark and wood of the squid trees, so they can eat the soft, rich inner pulp.
Primary Consumers
Wraith Lizard
The wraith is a devious predator. At 2m long, they are not the largest, but their sharp, poisonous bite is very lethal.
They have a light-coloured underbelly, to help them blend in with the sunlit canopy of the trees.
Their main prey is the snapjaw, which they stalk and kill from the treetops.
Wind Dragon
This is the apex predator of Horsehoe Island. It feeds on any animal it can get a hold of. It stands 1.5m tall and 3m long.
The Dragon is a nocturnal hunter, relying on its black skin to stay concealed in the darkness.
Secondary Consumers
Tropical Archipelago
Disturbance
Dinochytrium dendrobatidis
- the scale-eating fungus
This fungus originated in fish populations in the ocean surrounding Horseshoe Island. It has mutated and begun infecting the terrestrial lizards.
The disease feeds on the keratin in lizard bodies. Lesions form on the skin, and claws and horns become weak and brittle. While infections are not themselves fatal, the animals are put at risk because of their fragility.
It is spread through direct contact with affected tissue.
Immediate Effects
Plant Species
The scale-eating fungus only infects reptiles, so plants such as sawgrass and squid trees get away unscathed. Plan populations will be
unaffected
.
Ironback
Ironbacks are slow, lumbering creatures that rely on their hard shells for defense. Infection will make them vulnerable to smaller predators, such as the Wraith Lizard. Their population will decline. They are
threatened
with endangerment.
Snapjaw
While lesions on the skin will be painful and effect mobility, this is not the most severe effect.
The Snapjaw relies on its sturdy beak to crack through the hard wood of Squid Trees for food. The fungus will make their beaks brittle. Broken beaks will cause many to starve, making this an
endangered
species.
Wraith Lizard
The Wraiths will experience painful lesions and will lose claws to the fungus. This will affect their mobility through the treetops, thus they will not be able to stalk prey as easily. Some will starve before they adapt, making the population
threatened
for the short term.
Wind Dragon
These beasts are not at risk of predation, even after infection. The fungus will make them uncomfortable, but hunting habits will remain the same. Their population will be mostly
unaffected
by Dinochytrium dendrobatidis.
Decomposers
Ventrath's decomposers will have many more corpses than usual to feed off of as the fungus dooms its victims. This will cause an increase in population of maggots, beetles, fungi, and other decomposers. They will
thrive
.
Long-Term Effects
Many wraiths will have starved to death after their main prey, the snapjaw, becomes endangered. However, many more will adapt and begin hunting ironbacks. The rigid carapaces of the ironbacks will have deteriorated, making them vulnerable to the poisonous bites of the wraiths. Ironback populations will decline because of the introduction of a new predator, while wraith populations will increase and stabilize at a population slightly below their original number.
Demise of the Snapjaws
The snapjaws are the species hit hardest by the scale-eating fungus. It deteriorates their beaks to the point of breaking, making it impossible for them to eat. 75% of the overall population is infected and 95% of infected lizards die. The remaining population is healthy, but is still subject to regular attacks from predators such as the wraith lizards.
Decline of the Ironbacks
Reduced Populations
As prey animals diminish in population, so must the predators. After several years, all animals, including the wind dragon, will die off from starvation and disease. Eventually the population will plateau, but at much lower numbers than before the arrival of Dinochytrium dendrobatidis.
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