EnvSci_Coastal_Ecosystems

EnvSci_Coastal_Ecosy - Florida Coastal Ecosystems Prepared by Prof Rodriguez 1 Florida Geography Florida spans 6.5 degrees of latitude with

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Unformatted text preview: Florida Coastal Ecosystems 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 1 Florida Geography Florida spans 6.5 degrees of latitude with subtropical to temperate climate zones s over 1350 miles of coastline, s 1700 rivers, and 7800 lakes. s Diversity of habitats results in a great diversity of communities and species s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 2 s 44% of the 668 vertebrate species that occur are declining; 146 are classified as endangered, threatened, or of special concern 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 3 Nearly 1/2 our wetlands, s 1/4 our forests, & most of our tropical hardwood hammocks, s scrub, dry prairie & natural coastal habitat have been lost. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 4 Coastal Systems Beaches, Dunes, & Barrier Islands s Nearly 750 miles of FL coastline is sand. s Barrier islands consist of beaches & dunes on the ocean side s & tidal marshes on landward side with lagoons & estuaries separating them from the mainland. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 5 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 6 Many beach plants have adaptations similar to desert plants to reduce water loss. s Railroad vine & sea beans with sea oats growing up the angle of the dune. s Prickly zone contains prickly pear cacti & Spanish bayonets with sea grape near the top of the dune. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 7 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 8 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 9 The zone on high ground back from the beach varies depending on the climate area from tropical hardwood hammocks in Palm Beach County s to live oak hammocks on Amelia Island in Northeast Florida; s to cabbage palm savanna in Ft. Myers. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 10 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 11 Animals dependent on beaches: s sea turtles s green, loggerhead, & leatherback nest on FL); s shore birds (13 species including terns, skimmers, & gulls nest on FL beaches); s rodents (mice & rats); forested areas host black bear, panther, gray fox & land crabs. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 12 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 13 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 14 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 15 Salt Marshes Thrive in low, intertidal areas with minimal wave action few or no mangroves. s salt marshes best developed inland from mangroves, south of Homestead. s Hosts low diversity of organisms since conditions are rigorous (fluctuating water, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen), but large populations since 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 16 food & cover is abundant). s s Marsh dwellers include crabs, mink, marsh rabbit, rats, mice, & 500 species of insects, shrimp, oysters, fish, and birds including osprey & bald eagle 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 17 Mangrove Swamps Mangrove Swamps Found in FL fringing low energy coastlines (little wave action) primarily in southern half of state. s Includes (from shore to inland) red, black, white mangrove & buttonwood 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez s 18 Red mangrove s prop roots 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 19 Black mangrove Black mangrove s fingerlike projections roots 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 20 White mangrove s excrete salt which collects on leaves. 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 21 Buttonwood – dry land Buttonwood – dry land 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 22 Other animals associated with Mangroves sponges, sea anemones, oysters, barnacles & other organisms attach to the roots of mangroves & help recycle nutrients in the water s the branches provide homes for birds, crabs, etc. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 23 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 24 Bays & Estuaries Occur where fertile silt & fresh water from rivers enter marine waters to form brackish water. s Rimmed by salt water marshes or mangrove swamps s May have areas of hard bottom, soft bottom, & sea grass beds (stabilize soil, trap sediments) s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 25 s s provide camouflage for immature marine animals & food for organisms such as manatees; serve as nursery & breeding areas for many marine species 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 26 Coral Reefs Only living tropical coral reefs in continental U.S. found in FL Keys s coral animal has a tube­shaped body with one end opened to form a mouth surrounded by tentacles. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 27 Corals in the reef are interconnected ­hard corals are colonial organisms that build limestone skeletons that form the reef; s soft corals, sponges, calcareous algae compete for space on the reef. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 28 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 29 photosynthetic algae live inside the reef building coral polyps in a mutualistic relationship s many other organisms, especially certain calcareous algae, add limestone to the building reef. by: Prof. Rodriguez 02/14/12 Prepared s 30 Types of Reefs Types of Reefs s s fringing reef ­ close to land mass with little or no lagoon barrier reef ­ parallel to shore with wide, deep lagoon 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 31 Atoll Atoll •reefs that encircle a lagoon with no island patch 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 32 reefs - small groups of coral in lagoon 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 33 Coral Reefs s s s s Habitats within fringing & barrier reefs, & atolls: 1. grooves, caves, crevices, channels & deep, cup­shaped holes (blue holes) a. provide homes and hunting grounds for many species b. great biodiversity even though the system exists in nutrient poor waters; 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 34 s s this is possible because nutrients within the system are recycled with extremely efficiently; over 300 common species of reef fish are found in Caribbean reefs along with a great diversity of invertebrates & algae. 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 35 Coral: Global Concern s s s Coral reefs are declining globally, especially those near shallow and highly populated areas. About 10% of the earth's coral reefs have been seriously damage and a higher percentage is threatened. At this rate is likely lose most of the world's coral reef during the next century. 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 36 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 37 Threats to Corals Natural events such as storms, s infestations by virus and predators, and s changes in temperature have some impact on the reef, s human activity the primary agent of degradation. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 38 Other factors include: s Coral extraction and over harvesting, s boating activities (anchoring), s as well as eutrophication, changes in sediment load, and pollution s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 39 Lack of planning and management of coastal areas, including inland activities; s Climatic changes, including changes in temperature and sea­level, s tropical storms and hurricanes, and oceanic circulation. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 40 Significance of Coral Reef Significance of Coral Reef Ecosystems s s s s Some of the benefits of coral reef ecosystems are: 1.food production 2. tourism 3. recreation 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 41 4. aesthetics s 5. shoreline protection s 6. Coral reef ecosystems are among the most biologically productive and diverse in the world; s 7. they also serve as indicators of environment health. s 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 42 Why are reefs worth protecting? s s s s 1. support a great diversity of organisms 2. protect coastlines from erosion (reduce energy of incoming waves) 3. remove CO2 from water to produce skeletons (of limestone = calcium carbonate) 4. source of food (fish, shellfish harvested from reef) 02/14/12 Prepared by: Prof. Rodriguez 43 ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2012 for the course ENV 1009 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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