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THE African Savanna Ecosystem

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Eva Scarpulla

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of THE African Savanna Ecosystem

The African Savanna Ecosystem
Biotic and Abiotic
Biotic factors are the living things in an an ecosystem
Plants, Animals, Fungi, and Bacteria
Abiotic factors are the non-living things in an ecosystem
Soil, Temperature, Sunlight, Moisture, Wind,
Biotic Factors: Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Crocodile, Tall Grasses, Small Shrubs, Jackalberry Tree, Whistling Thorn, Manketti Tree.

Abiotic Factors: Weather (Winters are dry and cool, summers are humid, hot and wet), Climate (Warm year round about 70 degrees), Precipitation (Can go through droughts, but not as dry as a desert, 15-25 inches during wet season), Soil (During the dry season it is infertile), Sun, Wind, Air (often humid during wet season), Pollution levels, Flat land, CO2 levels (rising, and thusly more trees are growing).
Factor relationship prediction
The amount of precipitation, an abiotic factor, affects all of the animals and plants, biotic factors, because water is necessary for them to survive and if a drought occurs it can hurt the population.
The soil affects many biotic factors that need it in order to grow, or to help plants thrive so they can be used as sustenance.
The rising CO2 levels also influence the entire ecosystem by changing the environments content.
Community Interactions
Competition: When two organisms fight for the same limited resource.
Example: Interspecific: Large predators competing over prey, competition among scavengers.
Predation: When one organism captures and feeds on another organism.
Example: When Cheetah's prey on gazelles who in turn prey on grasses.
Mutualism: When both organisms benefit from one another.
Example: Oxpeckers and Cary birds remove ticks from larger animals.
Commensalism: When there are two organisms, and one receives benefit and the other neither benefits nor is harmed.
Example: Scavengers who feed off of the remains of the kills of other animals.
Parasitism: When one organism lives off and directly harms another.
Example: When a tick or flea feeds off the blood of larger animals like lions, hyenas, elephants, or zebras.
Interaction Results
The results of these interactions vary depending on which of the five interactions are occurring. Often, in cases such as mutualism and commensalism, the result is that one or more of the organisms are benefiting and there is no harm done. The population or species will then benefit as well and can thrive. Other times, when interactions such as predation and parasitism, one species will benefit while the other will suffer consequences that can reduce the population and their fitness. lastly, there is competitions, which can have a negative affect on both species as they strive to survive while the other is working against them. Because of this both populations can decrease and the limited resource will deplete quickly.
Change in the Savanna
Change over time
The African Savanna has changed in several ways over recent decades. Some of the animal and plant life has been disappearing or growing smaller in population. The variety of biotic factors found in the savanna has also changed. Plant life has become more "woody" versus just being grasses, decreasing the amount of savanna plant life, and forcing animals to adjust to altered food sources. This change has happened fairly recently because of the causes becoming more prevalent.
Causes of Change
Human interaction causing fires, hunting, and disrupting natural habitats. If increased, it could do major damage to native species.
Interactions among species cause changes in the population of different biotic factors
Climate Change
Climate Change
Increased CO2 amounts: "CO2 fertilization effect
Changing plant life into more woody material
This causes a chain reaction which causes many animals who are built for open space to suffer.
Rainfall could increase due to global warning and throw off the balance.
Future Prediction
If the climate change continues it will have a drastic effect on the entire savanna ecosystem. Some ecologists are going as far to predict the entire disappearance of the environment which would have consequences of extinction. Although that would be farther in the future, more directly pressing are the small affects that cause the ecosystem to change. This will eventually cause many biotic factors to disappear, and the abiotic factors may become entirely different.
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