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THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
Transcript of THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
This reef isn't your average reef on Earth. This reef is The Great Barrier Reef of Queensland, Australia. And that can only mean the winsome colourful waters and picturesque scenery that would capture anyone's breath. The Great Barrier Reef contains an abundance of varied species of marine organisms and plant-life. Due to the great amount of fauna existing in the Great Reef, the food chain can be overlong when compared to food chains in the desert. It also reveals certain biotic and abiotic factors that could prove essential in order for the ecosystem to progress decently. The corals and underwater dwellers have been evolving over centuries to adapt to the ecosystem forces and fishy neighbours to ensure a higher chance of survival within the large shared habitat.
Over-fishing, pollution and global warming are main factors that are tipping the equilibrium of the ecosystems within the coral reefs. So far a fifth of the reefs have been destroyed and are not recovering, a quarter of the reefs are endangered and another quarter face long-term collapse.
Biotic factors are basically the organisms of a certain area like the fish and the coral.
In the Great Barrier Reef, the jellyfish can only sting people. They might also kill but there have been no reported incidents that anyone died.
Polyps are very sensitive animals mainly the Great Barrier Reef’s water, salinity and visibility decides whether polyps can settle down or not. Only living polyps can have marvellous colours the reef is famous for.
Humpback whales are the acrobats of the ocean, breaching and slapping the surface of the water. They live in pods and each whale have two blowholes.
Starfish, also known as seastars, are beautiful animals that can be a variety of colours, shape and sizes. Some have smooth backs and others have rough backs.
Sea Snakes need to come up to land to breathe, but they can spend up to two hours under water between breaths.
The Great Barrier Reef
Another significant impact humans have had on the coral reef ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef is its pollution problem. There are numerous ways humans have added harmful pollutants into our oceans that can cause serious damage to the fragile ecosystems of the coral reefs. Sediment runoff will bring with it many natural and toxic components that can cause harm to the coral ecosystems. There is also sedimentation build up that occurs at the mouth of the rivers that lead into the oceans. Another major pollutant is runoff from mining and farming where the minerals get into rivers that flow into the ocean. Farming has specific negative effects with this type of pollution because of the nutrient runoff from the fertilizers used. These fertilizers add nitrogen and phosphorous into the oceanic ecosystem. The coral reefs also have a hard time surviving through human pollution by petroleum leaks and other chemicals that get dumped into the oceans because of its toxicity the environment. Also, the amount of boats that enter the ocean everyday will pollute the ocean further. Overall human pollution has been a major source for issues involving the Great Barrier Reefs and its struggle to survive in today’s harsh conditions.
Climate change has had a significant impact on the marine environments throughout the world. Global warming is caused by the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases trap in solar radiation to keep the heat within the atmosphere of the earth. Due to the industrial era, greenhouse gases levels have escalated in the past century. The result is intensified solar radiation and higher temperatures throughout the planet, which has a negative effect on marine ecosystems. Higher temperatures will melt the polar ice caps and raise the sea level, some have predicted sea level to rise up to 80cm by the end of the century (AU). The increased UV radiation will hinder the ability of plants and algae to photosynthesize. The result of this is that less energy is available overall in the marine ecosystems. Climate change has a fatal impact on the oceanic environment and more specifically harm the coral reef ecosystems.
Overfishing is one driving pressure that has had devastating impacts on coral reefs. However, over-fishing in general is also a damaging problem to many coral reefs around the world. Specifically to the Great Barrier Reef, overfishing has caused a shift in the reef ecosystem. Overfishing of certain species near coral reefs can easily affect the reef's ecological balance and biodiversity.. While the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has made the majority of areas of the reef off-limits for fishing with an emphasis on reef sustainability, it is still a huge drawcard not only for commercial purposes but for leisure/sport fishing as well. While many areas, techniques and species of marine life in the reef are protected by law, trawling for various types of permitted sea life (i.e.: prawns, other molluscs) inevitably leads to other species getting caught in the nets as a side effect, while the nets themselves can also damage the ocean floor and its inhabitants as a result of its “drag effect.” A domino effect comes into play when overfishing occurs in or around a coral reef. Fishing for a particular species obviously affects that species directly, but it also affects the animals and/or plants in both directions along the food chain - the predators and the prey of the fish will both be affected, and changes to them will also affect their predators and prey, and so on.
There are three main types of adaptations:
< Structural - how the organism's body is made and how the living being evolved and developed its body to adapt to its habitat.
< Physiological - how the subject functions during life, both inner and outer
< Behavioural - how the living source acts during life to adjust to the living processes in its habitat.
The Platygyra Brain Worm Hard Coral
Dwarf Minke Whale
Location:The Great Barrier Reef
Food:Micro-plankton or brine shrimp
Colours:Black, green, purple, tan, yellow
Abiotic factors are the non-living components in the biosphere. Chemical, geological and physical factors, such as rocks, minerals, temperature and weather are referred to as abiotic components.
There are many different types of abiotic features to help out the Great Barrier Reef’s corals called “Hermatypic corals”. This means that they have zooxanthellae algae and are very colourful. The normal temperatures that these corals survive in is from 18 to 32 degrees Celsius.
One of the factors that are found in the water are the nutrients. Corals are only able to survive in clear water that does not have much sediment so that light can be in contact of the surface of the water. This way, there are not many nutrients in the water. Usually, animals are not found living there, but because the coral grows there, the fish can eat the coral.
The Biotic Factors are then the things that are affected by the Abiotic factors which are the plant life and the animal life.
Which are the fish algae whales and countless other animals.
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Location:Warm oceans all around the world, including The Great Barrier Reef
Food:Tiny plankton and krill