s00u3le1 - Weedon Island Land Lesson I: Weedon Island -...

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© Project Oceanography 11 Weedon Island – Land Weedon Island – Land Lesson I: Weedon Island -- Land keywords: midden, rookeries, erosion, brackish, mangroves Weedon Island is a nature preserve where humans are the intruders. So when you visit, you should bring along your bug repellent as you might find that the beetles, cicadas, and mosquitoes might be interested in you. You might also find a harmless praying mantis, a cockroach or two, and many kinds of spiders if you look closely. One of the most beautiful spiders found there is the golden orb. It can spin an intricate web larger than six feet in diameter! And when you look at the web at the right angle, you can see that the silk is a golden color. Thus, how the golden orb got its name. Finally, as you continue your walk through the preserve, keep your eyes open for squirrels, armadillos, and foxes. You might even encounter a shy bobcat, or raccoon feasting on berries Weedon Island, located in Pinellas County, Florida, is a unique wetland habitat . The existence of all types of wetlands is determined by water the amount that flows into and out of wetlands and the amount of water stored there. Wetlands support diverse habitats of fish, birds, mammals, microorganisms and vegetation. Diverse habitats benefit fish for spawning, feeding or seeking shelter from predators. The protective plants that emerge from the mud provide a variety of foods and cover for the waterfowl and smaller organisms. Wetlands support some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. Inland wetlands may help control floods by storing water and slowly releasing it to downstream areas. Coastal wetlands reduce wave action. In addition to being a wonderful resource, they provide many opportunities for recreational and educational activities . Our wetlands are in peril. Since the late 1700’s over half of the wetlands of the United States have been lost. Wetland losses have resulted in greater flooding and erosion, reduced water quality, and reduced populations of many plants and animals . What are Mangroves? Mangroves are trees or shrubs that are native plants of Florida. All kinds of mangroves have a common trait in that they grow in shallow and muddy salt water or brackish waters. They are classified as any tropical tree or shrubs belonging to the genus Rhizophora, the species of which are
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© Project Oceanography 12 Weedon Island – Land Weedon Island – Land mostly low trees growing in marshes or tidal shores, noted for interlacing aboveground roots. Mangrove trees thrive in tropical environments where wetlands are abundant. They have green elliptical shaped leaves, long propagating root stems, and grow where water is abundant. They are sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuations. Salinity , water temperature, tidal fluctuations, and soil affect their growth and distribution. They are unique in that they can thrive in salty environments because they are able to obtain freshwater from saltwater. The mangroves may either secrete
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2011 for the course OCB 6050 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of South Florida - Tampa.

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s00u3le1 - Weedon Island Land Lesson I: Weedon Island -...

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