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Copy of Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes
Transcript of Copy of Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes
The Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes is one of the most popular and diverse regions in Texas. This is the closest region to the Gulf of Mexico, and it extends up until the Balcones fault. Most of the land is flat with a few rolling hills, but some of the land is below sea level. Along the gulf it is very marshy and sandy, providing homes for many animals. Moving north from the coast you will come across grasslands, oak groves and rich soil, which is excellent for farming. Some of the major landforms are the: South Padre island, Wonder Caves in San Marcos and Galveston bay. Some of the aquatic features are: the Gulf of Mexico, Nueces and Rio Grande River, and the Turtle Bayou.
Hot and humid are probably the words the weather man says everyday for more than half the year. Since this region borders the gulf coast the moisture catches with the often wind current and hangs over the city for long periods of time. During the summer it is mostly above 90 degrees, with scattered storms on a weekly basis. The hottest temperature ever recorded in this region was 109 degrees, and in 1950 Houston was the most air conditioned city in the world. Also, when it is not raining it is extremely sunny. This makes it very dangerous for residents to work and play outside. The summers here are a like the summers in the Philippines or South America.
Winters in the coastal plains are very mild, with the low reaching 50 degrees and the high about 70, this region attracts many tourists. There are not many freezes, so plants still grow and animals don’t die. Also snow is pretty uncommon; it usually falls once every ten years.
Wind and rainfall have a huge impact on the coastal plains, flooding has been a recurring problem and during the summer and once during a storm the rainfall was nine inches. Also severe wind can cause hurricanes raging at hundreds of miles per hour. A total of 7 major hurricanes have hit here in the past 100 years. The climate is, hot in the summer, mild winters and sometimes extreme weather can occur.
One example of sustainability in our region is the abundance of fish. More than half the animals in this region include fish in their diet. Even if the fish population gets out of hand, humans are there to control it. Also since fish can be exported it brings a lot of money to the coast, and that means better protection for the animals that are endangered.
Another example of sustainability is the water. Hydro electricity can be easily used by people near the coast. First of all it is cleaner energy, and can fuel the big companies that have businesses here. It means that we don’t have to use as much oil, and we can save some for the future and we aren’t risking another oil spill. Also the weather contributes to the sustainability. During the winter there aren’t many freezes, so that means that there is more growing time for the farmers and more animals can be raised for meat. Also during the summer there aren’t any droughts, if anything there is too much rain. This means there is more food for the people.
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Vanderbuilt, Ashton. “The Coastal Plains.” Texas State Historical Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2012. <http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ryc03>.
In our region, flooding is very common, and our population is very high so people littering can cause the floodwaters to become dirty. That is how humans affect the surface water. Humans can affect the ground water by drilling oil and sewage lines breaking. This is our watershed and it’s named the East San Antonio bay Watershed.
The wonder caves in San Marcos is a form of chemical weathering, because, when minerals are dissolved and washed away, cracks are left behind, and over extended periods of time, the cracks can expand to form caves and cave systems.
This picture is a form of mechanical weathering by the means of abrasions, on the beach of Padre Island. When river deposits go into the ocean, they crash against the rocks to form sand.
These sand ripples on Galveston beach are caused by the wind picking up sand and dropping it elsewhere it. This is an example of deposition.
This waterfall in Galveston is an example of erosion because, the water flows and pounds on the rock making it smoother.
The red-tailed-hawk is a medium sized bird. Red-tailed hawks have long wings that r red on the underside. Female red-tailed hawks are 25% larger than the males. They eat mammals, reptiles, fish and insects. They like to steal prey from other hawks. This animal has adapted to sit on top of telephone poles when there are no trees, like in the gulf coast in areas. This allows them to see their prey better, giving them more food.
Red-Tailed Hawk-Buteo Jamaicensis
The bald eagle is a bird of prey, which mens it is a predator. Bald eagles have a brown body with a white head and tail. They also have clawed feet. The bald eagle has adapted to eat small fish in the Gulf of Mexico. This lets them have more food and vary their eating habits.
Bald Eagle-Haliaeetus Leucocephalus
Grass is a green producer that grows almost anywhere. In the gulf coast region, the grass is very moist, except during the long droughts. The grass in our area has adapted to have longer roots to help them survive during droughts. Longer roots go deeper into the soil, collecting more water to help the grass to survive.
Grasshoppers are insects that live almost everywhere in the world. They have three main parts of their body: the head, abdomen, and their thorax. Grasshoppers have two antennas, which they use to feel things. They have five eyes which let them see to the front, side, and the back. Grasshoppers eat all kinds of plants and grasses. The grasshoppers have adapted to not drink as much water, because there are long droughts.
A toad is an amphibian that is born in the water as a tadpole. They lose their tale and grow lungs and end up living on land. An adaptation of the toad is its skin has become a lighter color which protects if from the sun’s heat.
Snakes are reptiles that live everywhere. Snakes are covered in scales that protect it. A snake sheds its scales every one to three months. Snakes do not have very good eyesight, so they use their tongue to smell. Snakes are carnivores and eat only meat. Snakes have adapted to have a detachable jaw, which allows them to eat bigger prey.
Cows live in prairies and on ranches. They eat grass for their main food source. Cows are raised for their meat and their milk. Humans rely on them for these things. There are over 1.3 billion cows in the world.
Oak trees are big deciduous trees that grow in the Gulf Coast region. These trees can grow up to seventy feet tall and nine feet wide. They produce acorns that fall to the ground. These acorns can be planted as a seed to make another Oak tree.
Squirrels are rodents that climb in trees. Squirrels have large eyes and bushy tails. They are born blind but grow out of it. They are consumers who eat mostly nuts, acorns, fruits, and some seeds.
White-Tailed deer are brown in the summer and a gray brown in the winter. They have white on their throat, stomach, tail, and around its eyes and nose. Male white-tailed deer have antlers, but the females don’t. They are herbivores and eat all kinds of grasses. They are really fast and are medium sized.
White-Tailed Deer- Odocoileus Virginianus
Mountain Lion- Puma Concolor
Mountain lions are large cats with a small head and a big tail. They are also called cougars, pumas, or panthers. They are carnivores and are the predators of deer and wild hogs. They eat 8 to 10 pounds of meat per a day to survive.
The hurricane of September 8,1900 in Galveston, Texas was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history. The area was hit with winds of 145 miles per hour, which makes it a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. This hurricane killed over 6,000 people on Galveston Island, and an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 total. 3,600 homes were destroyed, just on Galveston island. They also lost $30 million dollars, which is around $700 million today. This brings it to the second most expensive natural disaster, behind Hurricane Katrina, in U.S. history.
Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes
By Jackson H. and Varun R.
Succession is a slow process that changes an ecosystem over time. There are two types, primary and secondary. Primary succession starts when there is no soil, and secondary starts where there is soil. After the Hurricane of 1900, there were almost no trees and barely any grass. Secondary succession occurred and slowly grass, shrubs, and trees grew back.
Natural Environmental Changes
The conservation of our region is not only important to Texas, but to the rest of the country. One of the main natural resources in the gulf coast is oil. Oil is equivalent to money; you see at least thirty things a day that are powered by this substance. Unfortunately this resource is being depleted. There is only a certain amount of oil in this world, let alone the gulf coast, and if we drill it all out it takes thousands to millions of years to make more. People are trying to find alternate forms of energy such us hydro electricity, to substitute for oil.
We all remember the oil spill in the gulf, not only did it waste tons of money, it killed several animals. Seafood is another moneymaking industry in our region, when the oil spilled it destroyed the food and peoples jobs. Also overfishing has been a huge problem for the past fifty years, because of this many animals have become endangered such as the American eel and the small tooth sawfish.
Since many factories have sprung up species like the bald eagle, American peregrine falcon, and the attwaters greater prairie chicken have become endangered, so have mammals like the Louisiana black bear. Thankfully research facilities, have been educating people about how to preserve nature, and they also have made homes for these poor animals.
Food Web of The Gulf Coast Praires and Marshes' Community
Impact on the Community
The hurricane wiped out almost every tree in the area, taking tons of animal’s food. Also, the flooding caused many animals to die since some species cannot survive in the water. This water also caused erosion to happen very quickly, which took away many animals homes. The extremely powerful winds killed a lot of the birds.
The Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes region is a very biodiverse region. There are lots of animals with different niches because our community has a high carrying capacity and few limiting factors. Some of our limiting factors is the weather, the saltwater in our ocean, and the hurricanes that hit us. Since their are so many animals in our region, their is a lot of competition between the animals. Also, some animals rely on other organisms to survive. This is called symbiosis. An example of a parasitism relationship is mosquitoes biting and sucking blood from humans. An example of mutualism is the corals in the ocean. They give shelter to fish, and the fish keeps out predators. An example of commensalism is the clownfish and sea anemone.