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The Belize Barrier Reef
Transcript of The Belize Barrier Reef
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.
- Hawksbill Turtles
-Pink Tipped Anemone
-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
protects certain smaller organisms; however, in large masses duckweed can cause damage to the biome because it blocks sunlight and reduces oxygen.
keep plankton population in check and can also affect the population.
- 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.
- 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
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
Spear Fishing banned
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
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.
such as snorkeling and facilities such as cruise ships cause damage and pollution to the reef.
West Indian Manatee
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Pink Tipped Anenome