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Biotic and Abiotic Factors

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Isis Taylor

on 18 August 2015

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Transcript of Biotic and Abiotic Factors

Biotic and Abiotic Factors
The mangrove ecosystem is home to many different organisms. These organisms are only able to live and thrive in the mangroves because of certain biotic and abiotic factors. Some of these factors are listed and explained on the next two slides.

Abiotic Factors
Water salinity – The sodium and chloride (salt) in the ecosystem is actually toxic to plants and mangroves. To survive, the mangroves must somehow get rid of it, for example the black mangrove sheds its salt on its leaves (Anon., 2003)

Water – The water in most mangrove ecosystems is the sea. Because of tides, the mangroves gets flooded twice a day. When not flooded, the mangroves must take in oxygen to function with their Arial roots (Anon., 2003)

Temperature – Because plants are generally the temperature of the air around them, they can get extremely hot and cold. If mangroves are too hot or too cool, it can be dangerous. To avoid this, mangroves have reflective properties on their leaves to deflect sunlight (Anon., 2003)

Light – too much or too little light can badly affect the mangroves. Too much means temperature fluctuations, and too little means the plant will starve (Anon., 2003)
Biotic Factors
Plants – Any palms, trees, shrubs and ferns in the mangrove (Anon., n.d.)

Aquatic animals – when a mangrove branch falls to the ground, it provides a good habitat for any marine animals like molluscs, fish, crabs or prawns (Anon., n.d.)

Mammals and amphibians – any possums and flying foxes that live in the tops of the mangrove trees, and the frogs and lizards would like the cool (Anon., n.d.)

Natural Changes in the Mangroves
Like all ecosystems, there are natural changes that occur in the mangroves. There are also man-made changes like dams stopping water flow, pollution, and even clearing the whole mangrove system. Also, the destruction of coral reefs and overfishing can have bad outcomes on the mangroves. For example, coral reefs provide the first level or barrier against the sea storms, meaning without them the mangroves would have to withstand much more damage. Over fishing can unbalance the food web of an ecosystem. (Anon., 2015)

Some of the natural changes that occur in the mangroves could be things that natural disasters cause. For example, flooding could cause change in the currents of water, temperature of water, or even the salinity of the water. Other changes in the mangrove ecosystem specifically, are any variables of water, the temperature of the air, wind currents and light. The wind has influence on the waves, which can cause erosion and harm to the mangrove structure. The salinity of the water can cause different distributions of different species of mangrove. (Anon., 2012)
Interrelationships between species
In a mangrove, like any ecosystem, every organism has a certain niche. And if one of these organisms stops what it's meant to be doing, then the whole ecosystem can become unbalanced. This is one example of a relationship between these organisms.
Another might be the dead matter from the mangrove leaves feeding the smaller organisms, like crabs and fungi. Then the first order consumers eat them, and are in turn eaten by second order consumers. And, there also might be a third order consumer that eats them.

As you can see, without the mangroves, some organisms wouldn’t have habitats, and some would not have food to eat. All these relationships between species, the way they rely on each other to survive, are because of the mangrove and also keep the mangroves living.
Competition between species
Like most ecosystems there is also competition between different species in the mangrove.

For example, looking at the food web, the heron, fish and human are competitors for eating the crab. Also the pelican and human are competitors for fish. These are another type of interrelationship between species in the mangrove.

Energy flow through the mangroves
Mangroves carry energy and matter from the sea to the land and vice versa. For example, detritus (dead matter) from fallen mangrove trees, is broken down by bacteria. The nutrients are then released into the sea and other marine ecosystems. This then forms the producer for another ecosystem’s food web (Anon., 2015)

As you can see, mangroves provide the base for the food web not only for their own ecosystem, but other ones as well
Energy flow through species
From the energy web, we can see the energy flow through the web. For example from the mangroves, energy passes through the leaves and branches, which turn into detritus, which is eventually consumed by fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

Without the mangroves, none of these things would have gotten the nutrients they need. You can also see that the mangroves pass on nutrients to lots of marine animals, which in turn, pass nutrients and energy to humans. Concluding from this food web, we can see that the mangroves are very significant and they are the base for passing nutrients along the food chain.  

Significance of mangroves
Mangroves are more important than most people think, not just to the wider environment, but to human communities as well. Mangrove detritus can form the base for another food web. If the mangroves were not there, a whole other ecosystem wouldn’t have the nutrients to thrive. Also mangroves are extremely helpful, not just to the environment, but to other animals and humans. For example, mangrove forests provide habitats for fish, crabs and other marine animals. These animals are food for thousands of different communities, including humans.

Mangrove wood is also resistant to rotting and insects, meaning it is a very valuable source of wood for many communities. Recently, mangrove forests have been harvested for pulp, wood chip and charcoal production.

The mangrove roots act as protection from erosion caused by storms. In areas where mangroves have been cleared, the damage caused by these storms is much more severe.

In some places, mangroves forests are now part of the tourist attraction. Tourists can snorkel and see the wide variety of marine animals, such as crabs, jellyfish, baby fish and urchins, living among the mangrove roots. (Anon., 2015)
Affects on mangroves, if their removal continues
As mangroves act as a sort of protection from sea storms, if the removal of the mangroves kept on going, then coastal towns, reefs, and any other communities on the shore would get much more severe damage. (Anon., 2015)

The many organisms that live there would have to find another home, and some may die. And if just one species dies in an ecosystem, then the whole ecosystem would become unbalanced, and other organisms would suffer.

As you can see, mangroves are a very important and significant part of not only the environment, but to human communities as well. Without them, all the biotic factors living in them would suffer, and the coastlines would experience much more severe outcomes, like erosion, from coastal storms. Also the nutrients from the mangrove ecosystems create the base of the food web for other ecosystems, so if their removal continued, not just the mangroves would suffer, but other ecosystems.
35% of the world’s mangroves have already been cleared (Anon., 2015), and we don’t want to lose any more! Reconsider the removal of mangroves when considering any development applications, or plans to clear vegetation, and come up with ways to stop the clearing of the mangroves.
Stop clearing the mangroves!
Anon., 2003. Environmental Adaptions. [Online] 
Available at: http://www.bsu.edu/eft/belize/p/libm/adaptations.html
[Accessed 5 August 2015].

Anon., 2012. Mangrove Forest Species. [Online] 
Available at: http://mangroveforestspecies.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/affect-of-wind-ocean-current-fresh.html
[Accessed 8 August 2015].

Anon., 2015. Mangrove Forests: Ecosystems. [Online] 
Available at: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/coasts/mangroves/mangrove_ecosystems/
[Accessed 9 August 2015].

Anon., 2015. Mangrove Forests: Threats. [Online] 
Available at: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/coasts/mangroves/mangrove_threats/
[Accessed 11 August 2015].

Anon., 2015. Mangrove Forests: Threats. [Online] 
Available at: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/coasts/mangroves/mangrove_threats/
[Accessed 10 August 2015].

Anon., 2015. Mangrove Importance. [Online] 
Available at: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/coasts/mangroves/mangrove_importance/
[Accessed 10 August 2015].

Anon., n.d. The mangrove ecosystem. [Online] 
Available at: http://www.lrm.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/10399/2_mangrove_ecosystem.pdf
[Accessed 5 August 2015].
Thank you!!
Magnificent Mangroves
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