2019 Name: Isabella Rodriguez Date: 05/21/20 Student Exploration: Coral Reefs 1 – Abiotic Factors Vocabulary: consumer, coral, coral bleaching, coral reef, filter feeder, food chain, food web, grazer, nutrients, ocean acidification, pH, plankton, predator, producer, sediment, zooxanthellae Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.) 1. Look at the graph to the right. What does it show? It shows the coral reef coverage percentage declining over the years. 2. Why do you think corals have declined since 1977? Due to outlying factors such as global warming, and fishers as well as boaters improperly going over reefs as well as trying to fish at them. Gizmo Warm-up Coral reefs are some of the most diverse habitats on Earth, home to over a quarter of all marine species. The Coral Reefs Gizmo provides a simplified model of interactions among 10 key species in Caribbean reefs. In the Coral Reefs 1 exploration, you will focus on the effects of environmental factors on Caribbean reefs. 1. Click Advance year 10 times. Look carefully at the composition of the reef over time. Do you see any major changes? Many fish started disappearing and the only other thing I noticed was more sea urchins appearing. 2. Select the DATA tab. Check that Staghorn coral , Star coral , Sponges , and Algae are selected. Populations are given as a percentage of normal populations. What do you notice about these populations? Every species seemed to have a stable amount of population percentage (100%), except for the sponges. Over the years the sponge population percentage slightly increased by year 10 to about 109%
2019 3. On the right side of the Gizmo, select the SUMMARY tab. In a healthy reef, what are the values for Nutrient load , Water clarity , Coral cover , and the total number of fish species? Nutrient load: 4 ppt Water clarity: 94% Coral cover: 49% Total fish species: 442
2019 Activity A: The Caribbean reef ecosystem Get the Gizmo ready : On the CONDITIONS tab, click Return to original settings . Click Restart . Select the CORAL REEF tab. Introduction: A healthy Caribbean reef is home to over 50 species of coral and over 400 fish species. In this simplified model, we only consider the interactions of ten important species. Question: How do different species interact in a healthy coral reef? 1. Describe : On the CORAL REEF tab, click on each organism shown in the table below. For each organism, give its name and what it eats (or how it obtains energy). Picture Name What it eats (or how it obtains energy) Staghorn coral Obtains energy from photosynthetic symbiotic algae Boulder star coral Obtains energy from photosynthetic symbiotic algae Sponges Filter feeders that consume plankton suspended in the water Algae Photosynthetic organisms that thrive in shallow, nutrient rich water Stoplight parrotfish Important herbivore that feeds on algae but may also damage corals Queen angelfish Common reef fish that feeds primarily on sponges Yellowtail snapper Important food fish and predator that feeds on young fish, shrimp, crabs, and worms.
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- Fall '19