Biological Pollution Field Report.docx - I Introduction An...

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I.IntroductionAn ecosystem is a functioning natural community that includes both flora and fauna and their interactions with the physical and chemical environment. An ecosystem iscomposed of both biotic and abiotic factors. Biotic factors are all living organisms such as animals, plants, and bacteria, while abiotic factors are non-living components of the environment such as water, air, nutrients, and solar energy. Biodiversity is the diversity among the genes and ecosystems of the life forms within the species of our environment. The process of co-evolution means to change the characteristics or gene pool of one species by introducing another interacting species over a long period of time. While this can be mutually beneficial for some organisms, it can be mutually detrimental too; an example is the biological “arms race” between the predator and its prey. Our Florida International University’s Preserve contains elements three ecosystems of South Florida, which are Tropical Hardwood Hammock, the Pine Rocklands ecosystem, and the Sawgrass Prairie.II.Ecosystems of the FIU Nature PreserveTropical Hardwood Hammock:It’s one of South Florida’s ecosystems. It has a dense canopy and a low understory that keeps the inside temperature cooler and moister than the outside temperature. The flora and fauna consist of broad species, vines and shrubs. It develops in high elevations therefore it does not flood during some seasons.Native Species – Tropical Hardwood HammockOne of the native species of tropical Hardwood Hammock is the Caribbean Mahogany(Sweitenia mahoganii). It’s a medium sized tree with small flowers produced in panicles and capsule fruits. The leaves are even-pinnate compound, with three of four pairs of asymmetric leaflets and no leaflet at the tip. Its bark is reddish-brown, thick and roughened by thick scales. The fruit is a woody capsule splitting open to expose reddish-
brown winged seeds. Most are no more than 30-40 ft tall. It’s often used in parks and commercial landscapes, and around parking lots. Another one of the species of tropical Hardwood Rock is the Gumbo Limbo(Bursera simaruba). It’s a medium to large tree with a rounded and broad crown, somewhat dense to open. Its bark is thick and has resin in it. The trunk is thick and

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