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Transcript of Louisiana Wetlands
The Louisiana Wetlands
Life webs of Wetlands
The beautiful wetlands of Louisiana are teeming with organisms, such as the majestic American Alligator.
Major influence: Levees blocking away sediment from wetlands. Eroding away at 1 football field an hour.
Wetlands eroding away is taking away space for hydrophytes (plants that live in or on water) to live, which are the main producers of the wetlands food web.
Resolutions to the depletion of the Louisiana wetlands
The most promising resolutions to save the wetlands are either to breach the levees or to restore the wetlands with sediment from other places.
While breaching the levees would let sediment back to the wetlands, it would also flood the entire city of New Orleans.
Restore Wetlands Manually
The EDF could spend billions of dollars to add sediment back to the wetlands.
It is much a better resolution than flooding New Orleans.
Alligators are a top predator
Keep lower creatures in population check
Alligators are apex predators, they eat fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Adaption of the alligator
Alligators have adapted nocturnal eye structures, create air bubbles in eyes to protect the eyes from the mucky waters.
The internal Alligator ear is covered by flaps of skin, enabling them to detect subsonic vibrations from the throats and stomachs of other alligators a mile away. This feature allows alligators to find mates more easily.
Minor influences: Humans introduced Nutria, an South American rodent used for fur, invading wetlands, eating plants that hold down the wetland foundation. destroyed 80000 acres of land.
The Flow of energy - The Necessary Start
Parts of Wetlands
The Barrier Islands (in front of wetlands, as a barrier against storms)
Salt marshes (coastal edge, 1650acres)
Brackish marsh (behind coast 4704 acres)
Freshwater marsh (946166 acres)
Hydrophytes of wetlands
Barrier Islands: low, sandy, salt tolerant xenic grasses, poorly developed
Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
Black mangrove trees
Salt marshes: daily tidal flush, bidirectional streams, lead into brackish marsh
Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina altherniflora)
Black mangrove trees
Brackish marsh: Partly salty waters, with fresh water plants that are able to tolerate small amounts of salt
Salt Meadow Cordgrass
Freshwater marsh: accreting, sediment rich, high energy
Critical energy infrastructure
Importance of Wetlands
Relationships of the food web
The top predators of the wetlands such as the American Alligator, Snapping Turtles and the Red Shoulder Hawk prey on the lower levels of the web.
Red Shoulder Hawks eat animals such as Gray Rat Snakes and Field Mice, this is an relationship of antagonistic predation.
The flow of energy in the Louisiana wetlands starts at the sun, like every ecosystem's flow of energy. The sun transfers energy to
hydrophytes (plants that live in or on water).
These plants are the main producers of the ecosystem and deliver energy to most 1st level consumers.
By: Benton Harshaw
Phosphorus is a means great deal of importance for the Louisiana wetland organisms. The cycle in the wetlands is very interesting, the Mississippi River constantly adds phosphorus to the cycle, while the Gulf of Mexico upwells the phosphorus that has already fallen into the gulf by the depletion of the wetlands. The depleted wetlands add lots of additional unnecessary phosphorus to the cycle, Creating algal blooms, taking up oxygen.
Caduto, M. J. "Ecology and Food Webs in Wetlands." Ecology and Food Webs in Wetlands. Kingfish, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://kingfish.coastal.edu/biology/sgilman/778EcologyFoodWebs.htm>. This website provided extensive tropic information on the wetlands.
"Diet." :: WILD-LAB Wetlands Research Library ::. Researsh Library, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://www.wild-lab.com/courses/wetlands/research/animals_alligator.htm>. This website provided large amount of biological information on the American Alligator.
"Home - Nutria.com." Home - Nutria.com. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nutria.com/site.php>. This website provided information on the invasive species, nutria and the 80,000 acres of wetland damaged caused by nutria.
Jonas, Trent. "Plants and Animals in the Louisiana Wetlands." Travel Tips. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://traveltips.usatoday.com/plants-animals-louisiana-wetlands-54935.html>. This website provided some information on the types and number of animals that live in the Louisiana Wetlands.
"Louisiana Wetlands." Louisiana Wetlands. Vermillion Parish School, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/victery/new08/louisiana/LA_GatorHistory.htm>. This website provided information on Alligator hunting and farming in the 1800-1900's.
"Plants and Animals in the Louisiana Wetlands." Travel Tips. Tennessee Aquarium, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://traveltips.usatoday.com/plants-animals-louisiana-wetlands-54935.html>. This website provided an accurate food web of the Louisiana Wetlands.
"Restoring the Mississippi River Delta." Environmental Defense Fund. EDF, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://www.edf.org/ecosystems/restoring-mississippi-river-delta>. This website provided the restoration approach of the EDF and why this could be beneficial for the country.
S, Jeffress Williams. "Louisiana Coastal Wetlands: A Resource At Risk." - USGS Fact Sheet. Coastal and Marine Geology Program, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/la-wetlands/>. This website provided general information on the lost of Louisiana Wetlands, the causes of this disaster and what could be done.
Tibbets, John. "Louisiana's Wetlands: A Lesson in Nature Appreciation." NCBI. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332684/>. This website provided information on what the levees do for the city of New Orleans.
":: WILD-LAB Wetlands Research Library ::." :: WILD-LAB Wetlands Research Library ::. N.p., n.d. Web.
04 Nov. 2013. This website is a data base for information on most of the wildlife that inhabits the Louisiana Delta. It gives detailed facts about the wide assortment of species in the Delta.
Hanover. "Ecology and Food Webs in Wetlands." Ecology and Food Webs in Wetlands. Pond and Brook,
n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. Gives detailed analysis of the usual wetland environment. It contains many diagrams that involve the trophic levels and food chains.
Mauchad, Joy P. "Functions and Values of Wetlands." Washington
State Department of Ecology. Washington State Department of Ecology, 29 Dec.
2008. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. Gives information on how to preserve a wetland using many different methods.
"Mississippi River Delta." - National Wildlife Federation. National Wildlife
Federation, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. Gives an argument on how the Louisiana Delta is affected very badly by human influences.
"160-Square-Mile Oil Spill Fouls Mississippi Delta Wildlife Refuge." 160-Square-Mile Oil Spill Fouls Mississippi Delta
Wildlife Refuge. Environment New Service, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. Gives an account of the oil spill that took place on Louisiana's shoreline. This spill affected the Delta as well as the coast.
The Energy Pyramid of the Louisiana Wetlands