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An Ecosystem Unbalance

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Lauren Mearns

on 12 September 2014

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Transcript of An Ecosystem Unbalance

A large indicator species in the South China Sea would be fish. The interaction between fish and man can through of the whole environment. In Asia, fish is the primary source of protein and eaten every day. Fishing is intensive and a primary force. Asian people fish for sport, but also for a living. If the fish population started to become over fished, then that would leave primary and secondary consumers to be scavenging for food. When one population within the food chain is triggered it affects the rest of the food chain. The interaction between fishing and the fish is an example of how living and non-living things get along.
a community and its physical and chemical environment
Biotic & Abiotic Factors
15% of the world's coral reef is found in this large amrine ecosystem. Not only does the coral reef hold thousands of different plant and animal species, but it also creates a buffer against erosion as the waves come crashing in.
Mangrove forests are beginning to invade the marine ecosystem with their terrestrial plants. The roots of the plants are partially in the water which create a perfect home to small fish, crab, and shrimp.
Seagrass beds are very vast in the South China Sea and are home to millions of small fish and crustaceans.
The big blue sea is home to many large marine animals such as the "pink" dolphin, whales, sword fish, octopus and much more.
Populations and Communities
To actually know the population and community amounts within the South China Sea is a great task. It holds 15% of the entire world's coral reefs which create a habitat to several thousand species. Such communities are the coral reef, coastal shore line, the deep sea, and around all the islands. Within each community there are many populations of species.
You may have heard about pink dolphins and thought people were crazy, but it is true. Approximately 2,500 white chinese dolphins call the South China Sea home.
Fish are another large population that make home in the marine ecosystem.
The population has never been a problem, never too much nor too little. With having fish as the main food in an Asian diet, the population is regulated.
Food Chain
The first trophic level is home to producers, such as phytoplankton. Phytoplankton gets its energy from the sun, creating its own food through photosynthesis.
The second trophic level contains primary consumers such as herbivores and carnivores; either eating only plants or only other animals. Example: Invertebrates and squid
The third trophic level is where secondary consumers are found, also known as omnivores; eating both plants and animals. Example: marine mammals (squid, shark, whale)
The fourth trophic lever is the tertiary consumer; humans would be known as tertiary consumers. Humans are also known as heterotroph, meaning we obtain energy elsewhere than from the sun
Energy is passed along through each trophic level
An Ecosystem Unbalance

South China Sea
pH levels within the South China sea is very high, creating the waters to be acidic. Over the past years the levels of CO2 have increased and are continuing to increase. The increased levels of pH and carbon dioxide hinder the growth and population of marine species.
Due to the affects that monsoons have on the water, the pH level is constantly changing.
The quality of the water in the South China Sea is very poor do to the amount of human activity on and around it. The South China Sea is used for one third of the shipping world. With having millions of boats on its waters realizing toxins and chemicals into the ecosystem.

Pollution & Ecosystem Health
"Triggered by a decade of extraordinary economic and populations growth, China's quest for energy and protein resources could potentially destroy one third of the world's marine biodiversity"
The South China Sea is known to be a marine ecosystem which is biologically diverse. Made up of 250 islands and reefs.
Having a coastline along the countries of Vietnam, China, Taiwan, The Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Due to the millions of species that call this marine ecosystem home millions of species
There is competition found between humans that own fisheries and the mammals of the sea
Two introduced species found in the South China sea are the molly (poecilia sphenopas) and the pearlslot (etrosplut suratenis).
All mammals and plants are considered to be biotic factors. Examples: phytoplankton, salmon, coral, jellyfish, great white shark
Some biotic factors contribute to the ecosystem, while others harm
8 third world countries share the waters of the South China Sea. Each of these countries lack sanitary water and do not properly take care of fresh sea water surrounding them. Over five percent of the world's entire population lives near the the South China Sea and that population is continuing to grow at a rapid pace.
Sewage, destructive fishing, coral reef degradation, and the destruction of mangrove forests pose large threats on the marine ecosystem.
Population: group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area at a certain time
Community: populations of all species that occupy that habitat
Biotic Factors: living components of the biosphere.
Abiotic Factors: non-living components of the biosphere, including chemical and physical factors.
Indicator Species
Plankton is considered to be a very well known indicator species. The populations plankton in certain parts of the sea can indicate the temperature. Some plankton will only live where the water is warmer and other species of plankton where it is colder.
A study on copepod assemblages was done after a monsoon had occurred. The temperatures of the waters had been stirred up and this particular plankton was found in the warmer waters.
The entire population of plankton affects the rest of the food chain, since they are at the bottom and the rest of the consumers rely on them.
a species sensitive to small changes in the environmental conditions.
Unbalanced Ecosystem and Human Activity
The effect of human activity is the direct cause of an unbalanced ecosystem. With having a constant coastal and marine development pollutants are constantly contaminating the water. The South China Sea is used for 1/3 of the shipping world. Not only is gas from ships polluting the water but millions of aircraft fly over the sea everyday polluting the sky, creating acid deposition.
Four years ago I was walking along the shore of the South China Sea and was disgusted to see the brown polluted water washing up to shore with garbage and many other toxins. I decided to walk in, but realized it was a bad decision when I came out with a rash all over my legs.
Pollutants from human activity causes harm to the own human population, but even worse to the marine population.
From fisheries, to factories producing fossil fuels, and ships sailing the waters; the sea is constantly being polluted.
The CO2 levels are getting higher, which is affecting global warming. The factories that are found in China especially produce a mass amount of fossil fuels daily, which is just feeding the diminishing process of the ozone layer. Global warming is melting waters, producing sea levels to rise.
Lauren Mearns
Works Cited






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