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Unit 2 Biology - Ecosystems

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Mersina Gelagotis

on 20 August 2015

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Transcript of Unit 2 Biology - Ecosystems

Ecosystems, Habitats & niches
By Jason Osborne & Mersina Gelagotis :)
Marine Ecology -
Ecosystem -
Abiotic factors of marine ecology -
biotic factors of marine ecology -
Habitat -
Niche -
Info on a species' flora/fauna -
Enhanced greenhouse effect & Climate change -
Bibliography -
Extra info -
The water temperature will effect many marine conditions, it will effect how much ice is melted and how much water is evaporated.
It also plays a very large role in maintaining our coral reefs. Reef building corals have optimal growth rate between water temperatures of 23°–29°Celsius. The Great Barrier Reefs temperature ranges from 24°Celsius in winter and peeks at around 30°Celsius in summer, making great conditions to help the reef growth.
Temperature -
Salinity -
Salinity is the amount of dissolved salts in the water. Most oceanic plants and fish have adapted to a specific level. Different parts of the ocean have different levels, for example the tropics have a much higher level. Salinity levels fluctuate along rocky shores, this is caused by tide levels. This means rock pools will have extreme fluctuation levels. In the open ocean the salinity levels will remain very constant. Things that could effect this is the melting of fresh water ice burgs that will lower salinity levels in the ocean, if salinity levels change too fast it possibly can kill off different types of marine life.
An ecosystem is...
an interacting system that consists of groups of organisms and their non-living environment within a boundary.
A marine ecosystem...
Marine ecosystems are among the largest of Earth's aquatic ecosystems because water accounts for more than 70 % of Earth’s surface. They include oceans, salt marshes, intertidal zones (foreshore), lagoons, coral reefs, deep sea, the sea floor and more.

Other factors include -
Tides, oxygen levels in the water and under water currents.
Marine Ecosystem -

Biotic factors -

Abiotic factors -

Green house effects -

Symbioses -

Extra information
Sunlight -
Sunlight combined with nutrients in the water and currents will control the amount of algae in the water.
Some predictions of how climate change will effect the marine ecosystem include the rise of sea levels by 0.6 to 0.8 meters by the year of 2040. Changes in wind currents and wave height, change in ocean currents and surface temperatures. Rain fall pattens will change, this will change the amount of sediment in the ocean, this is the amount of dirt and minerals in the water. Some places will have increased sediment while other locations will decrease.
Biotic factors are how different organisms interact with each other and their environment. Which then helps shape their ecosystem.
From those listed above -
**They can then be contrasted into groups
e.g - in terms of freshwater ecosystems, they have a lower salt content than others.
can be divided into smaller ecosystems, such as rocky shores and submarine canyons.
A habitat is...
A place of where an organism lives or can be found. The habitat also includes where the organism travels to find a food source or resting place (sleep).
Diagrams of the marine ecosystem -
a map of the australian ecosystem -
* comparison attached next
Focusing into one state of our country here.
Western Australia
is among the longest coastline in the nation, and is surrounded by the Indian Ocean also the Great Australian Bight. Western Australia’s marine and coastal environments are the hosts to many unique habitats such as corals, rocky shores, sandy beaches, and saltmarshes. With these habitats comes a diverse range of marine life that thrives in the particular ecosystem.
Marine life such as;
turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales, sharks, lobster, and dugongs are present.
* Boundary map Victoria
If we were to compare the above Victorian land segments to the Western Australia coastal and marine you would see a significant change in life and ecosystems. The top of Australia shows more marine life and a stronger coastal area to develop strong and large ecosystems.

From looking at the above image you can draw conclusions that Victoria is faced with more land than marine related venues. Victoria is heavily based on the manufacturing and exporting of land related sources where the other two states mentioned can be typically visited or studied for the beautiful marine ecosystem and marine life themselves.
Every organism has a place to live in nature, a functional role in that place, and a complex set of adaptations for reproducing its kind.
Therefore a
marine habitat
is a subsystem/individual ecosystem habitat of its own...
When two organisms live together or close by to get some kind of benefit from the other, it is called
. When one organism benefits from the relationship and the other is disadvantaged, its called
. When one organism benefits from the relationship but the other is not effected its called
. When both organisms benefit in the relationship it is called
A marine habitat consist of very different properties, and, in turn the marine has a very different environment to others. These different environments have a direct influence on the types of of organisms that have evolved there living and reproducing successfully in their own habitat.
** From land to water there are many differences.
Factors that differ -
Light absorption -
sea water absorbs light much stronger than air (land)
Density -
water is actually more dense then air
Gravity -
the effect of gravity on organisms is far greater than air. Sea water (marine) provides significant and a strong amount of
A niche is...
A niche refers to the way in which an organism fits into an ecological community or ecosystem. Through the process of natural selection, a niche is the evolutionary result of a species' physiological, and behavioral adaptations to its surroundings.
the 'way of life' of a species'. Showing that an organism occupies a sum of all ways to utilizes the resources of its environment.
** an organism's
also takes into account its
Many organisms perform well under certain conditions and in certain environments.
E.g -
A shark's niche is being a predator in the oceans. The niche of a shark would not be to climb trees.
Different niches include -
Nocturnal = active at night
Diurnal = active during the day
Crepuscular= active at dawn and dusk
How different organisms
work together -
Page 2.
Page 1.
management issues/human impacts
influencing the
marine ecosystem -
adaptation to this ecosystem -
Throughout our human existence oceans have been heavily depended on

whether that be for food, as a waste dump, for recreation, for economic opportunities and so on. However, not only our activities in the marine environment affect life in the sea – it’s also the things we do on land that can impact the ecosystem..
Factors impacting include -
Introduced species
Ocean acidification
Human Impacts -
Biotic factors are...
any living, biological factor that may influence an organism or a system.
E.g -
animals, plants, insects, bacteria, fungi
Abiotic factor is...
a non-living physical, factor that may influence an organism or ecosystem system.
E.g -
rock island, gases, water, sun, minerals, & temperature
Flora and fauna refer to plant and wildlife, respectively -
In relation to the marine ecosystem -
aquatic flora and fauna of a region refers to the plant and animal life found in the waters in or surrounding a geographic region.
of an area or, refers to all plant life occurring, and especially relates to the naturally occurring or
plant life.
**Food webs illustrate the relationship between animals and what they feed on in the biotic community.
**A food chain is different from a food web because it illustrates only one energy and nutrient path in an ecosystem.
Sitting close to the bottom of the food chain are phytoplankton, phytoplankton are bacterias and single celled plants. Due to global warming water temperatures are expected to increase, this will decrease the amount of phytoplankton in certain water locations and increase it in others..

is all of the animal life of any particular region or time.
SPECIFIC example - Atlantic cod, Grey nurse shark, Olive ridley turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Leatherback turtle
As water temperatures increase, many animals will either be pushed out of their habitat as water temperatures are no longer in their
tolerance zones
or they are able to travel further north/south and invading other habitats.
SPECIFIC example - seaweeds, marine algae (brown, green, red), sea grasses, and coral reef plants
Endemic is...
present or usually common in a population or geographical area at all times. They occur nowhere else, as they're restricted to a region.
Indigenous is...
any native, or naturally occurring organism in a place specified, these organisms originate where they are found. They are not brought in from elsewhere, though it
(being the species or organism)
may also occur somewhere else.
The melting of fresh water ice
While the earth is heating up from climate change, ice burgs at the south and north end of the earth are melting, this is increasing the amount of fresh water in the sea.
The Barnacle and the Crab -
The Whale Shark and the Remora -
The clown fish and the anemone -
Changing habitats -
Future predictions -
Food chain
How organisms have evolved -
An organism will evolve over time to help it survive in its habitat. The three types of adaptations are
. These changes
happen over hundreds of years. A physiological adaptation of the star fish is the chemical properties on their skin to help protect them from predators as they are very slow and are at a disadvantage.
Clown fish adaptations -
A dominant male clown fish is able to change its gender after the previous dominant female has left the group. This is a physiological adaptation and also a part of its niche.
Approximately 85% of fish species, 90% of echinoderm species and 95% of mollusc species in these southern waters are unique to Australia (Poore 2001). This high endemism is also apparent in Australia’s temperate macroalgae (Phillips 2001).
- http://www.oceanclimatechange.org.au/content/index.php/2012/background/category/australias_marine_life
Endemic - Australian Salt Water Crocodile
Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.

- http://www.australia.com/en/facts/australias-animals.html
Indigenous - Platypus

are coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides. They are marshy because the soil may be composed of deep mud and peat.
As mentioned this in the section of 'Organisms working together'.
The ocean is divided up into three horizontal sections. The first section is the
euphotic zone
, where all colors are very visible. The next zone is the
disphotic zone
. This is too deep for most light to reach so it is very cold and therefore not much color is visible. The last zone is the
aphotic zone
, or deep sea, this area is completely dark. This is home to the colossal squid, goblin shark and many more marine species.

In ecology,
is a class of relationships between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other without affecting it.

is the only herbivorous mammal that is strictly amongst the marine ecosystem. It is listed as vulnerable to extinction at a global scale by The World Conservation Union (IUCN). The dugong has a large range of 37 countries and territories including tropical and subtropical coastal and inland waters.
The dugong...
Dugongs are usually found in shallow waters protected from large waves and storms. They surface to the water level only to breathe, and never come on to land. As the only herbivorous marine mammal, they play an important role as the largest primary consumers of the sea grass and all freshwater vegetation.
By protecting dugongs and other similar marine animals, we are protecting the coastal habitats that these species and organisms call home - coral reefs, sea grasses, and estuaries.
Sometimes called
'sea cows'
because they graze on seagrasses.
Dugongs are slow-moving and have little protection against predators. Being large animals, however, only large sharks, saltwater crocodiles and killer whales are a danger to them.
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