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The Belize Barrier Reef

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Jessica Barlow

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of The Belize Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef
Jessica Barlow
Michelle Dietz

Important Abiotic Factors
Organisms in the Biome Continued...
Main Cause of Environmental Damage
The Belize Coral Reef is the second largest reef in the world. It is approximately 185 miles long and includes many coastal geologic features including barrier reefs, fringing reefs, sand cays, mangrove cays, lagoons, and estuaries. This reef is home to thousands of species of aquatic plants and animals and contains several reserves and conservation areas. This reef includes more than 500 species of fish, 65 species of stony corals, and 350 varieties of mollusks. Above water there are some 178 plant species, and below are 247 types of marine flora.
: Salinity levels are between 30-40 pp. and super saturated with calcium carbonate, a substance vital to the skeleton-forming processes that go on in the reef.
: Oxygen distribution mainly comes from the plants and dissolved gases of the water. Oxygen also makes its way into water, wave and wind activity.
Endangered Species
-Brain Coral
Indicator Species
-Butterfly fish
-Giant Anenome
Keystone Species
- Hawksbill Turtles
-Pink Tipped Anemone
Invasive Species
-Lion Fish
-Orange Cup Coral
Few waves are present within the Belize Barrier Reef, but the waves outside of the reef help shape and form it.
The main current is the Caribbean Current; it makes temperatures warm along the shoreline but still cooler than those of the inland. These warm currents sometimes produce a temperature too hot for the coral residing in the reefs, causing bleaching of the coral.
Effects the development of the Belize coral reef. Water temperatures vary between 75 and 85 degrees year round, but Belize's water temperature barely reaches 70 degrees.
Important Biotic Factors
Duckweed seagrass-
protects certain smaller organisms; however, in large masses duckweed can cause damage to the biome because it blocks sunlight and reduces oxygen.
Moon Jellyfish-
keep plankton population in check and can also affect the population.
Blue Tang
- keeps plankton and shrimp population under control, but can also cause a decrease in the population if the Blue Tang population is too large.
Yellowline Arrow Crab
- feeds on plankton and algae found on coral reefs.
Antillean (West Indian) Manatee
- feeds on over 60 plant species including sea grass. They can cause significant damage by consuming an abundance of aquatic plants which removes habitats and food sources for other species.
Loggerhead turtle
- feeds on aquatic plants, small fish, and jellyfish. They can regulate the population of these species so they do not get out of control.
Organisms in the biome
Map of the Reef
K Species
-Manta Rays
-Queen Conch
R species
-King anglers
-Soft Coral
Over Fishing causes...
How to Prevent over fishing
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
- set up regulations that protect Nassau grouper and the spawning sites, parrotfish, doctor, surgeonfish, and other grazers.
"No take" zones
in protected areas, which
ban fishing
in the
South West
and the
Sapodilla Cayes.
Spear Fishing banned
within reserves.
Size Limit
Nassau fish
that are caught and all must be brought back to dock. A fish fillet must include a skin sample to prove that the fish isn't a Nassau.
The reduction of certain fish species effecting the predator-pray relationship.
Larger organisms have issues finding food and die off while smaller organisms grow causing damage to the coral.

Hurricanes can create waves and rough seas which destroy coral and kill many species.
Rising Temperatures and sea levels caused by
global warming.
El Nino-
Brings warmer water temperatures which causes coral bleaching.
Damage from Natural Causes
Damage Caused by Humans
Increased human development and coastal development
in the region also negatively impacts the reef. Damage has been caused by increased sedimentation and run-off from pesticides and sewage.
Tourist activities
such as snorkeling and facilities such as cruise ships cause damage and pollution to the reef.
Moon Jellyfish
West Indian Manatee
Blue Tang
Loggerhead Turtle
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Legal Protection for Belize's Coral Communities." Belize: Legal Protection for Coral Communities – Wildlife Conservation Society. Wildlife Conservation Society, 27 Apr. 2009. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
Bruno, John. "Belize Passes a Law to Limit Fishing of Herbivores." Climate Shifts. Climate Shifts, 4 Sept. 2009. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
Wells, Sue. "Barrier Reef, Belize." Barrier Reef, Belize. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation M. "Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize." Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize. The Encyclopedia of Earth, 22 June 2009. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Belize Barrier Reef." About.com Geography. About.com, 10 June 2011. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Fish of The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef." Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Fish Photos. Consejo Belize, 2007. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Disappearing Crocodiles." , Belize Barrier Reef. Reef Briefs, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Biotic Factors - Belize Barrier Reef." Belize Barrier Reef. Belize Barrier Reef, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
Slingo, Mark. "The Effects of Overfishing on Coral Reefs." EHow. Demand Media, 11 May 2011. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Recently in Bahamas Library Category." Bahamas Project: Bahamas Library Archives. Wilderness Classroom, 1 July 2008. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Belize Reef Identification Page." Belize Reef Identification Page. New England College, 2011. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
"Belize." Climate, Average Monthly Temperatures, Rainfall, Sunshine Hours, Graphs. Climatemaps.com, 2012. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
Coral Bleaching
Pink Tipped Anenome
Manta Ray
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