It involved planting a measuring tape from the high tide mark and pulling it mm towards the sea. The same measuring tape used for the transect was used for the beach profiling. C. Measuring poles were laid out at every mm interval and an inclinometer was used to measure the angle of depression or elevation. Inclinometers were placed at the same height mark and aimed at the similar mark on the other pole to maintain consistency The coastal survey was conducted at around Sam when the tide was at its lowest, exposing the rocky shore and its inhabitants.
Since the organisms are mostly exposed to dry conditions, it was easier to examine the relationship between their habitat and their distribution. Identified Species Turf Algae Turf algae are one of the fundamental forms tropical reef algae. Living mostly in freshwater and marine systems, these micromanage are simple atrophic organisms containing chlorophyll. They are unicellular species which are able to live individually or in groups and colonies. The algae examined will predominantly be Chlorophyll, containing green photosynthetic pigments.
Despite not having roots, stems and leaves, micromanage have similar characteristics as higher plants. They are able to photosynthesis and create their own food thus rendering them producers and the bottom of the marine food chain. Like any other photosynthesis organism, the turf algae would live on any surface that is damp and available to light. Hence, they are often found in the littoral zone in the pelagic layer. Turf algae can be identified as being slimy and green, however, it cannot be individually counted when examining with the naked eye. Algae grazers such as damselflies and angelfish are primary consumers of turf algae.
They ensure that the algae does not populate excessively. When grouped in colonies, turf algae are able to trap drifting particles and sediment nearby and, by gradual encroachment, kill corals. Therefore, if not controlled they are able to wipe out several sections of tropical coral reefs. Padding Padding are another form of tropical reef algae that have identifiable brown fan- shaped fronds. They are atrophic multicultural macrophage of the Decorticate family. Classified by their thin fan-shaped thalamus, padding pantone are able to attach to rocks, sand and coral rubble by root-like filaments called rhizomes.
Like higher plants, they are able to photosynthesis by absorbing different frequencies of light, hence the olive-brown pigments called foxhunting. The fan-shaped fronds provide rater surface area and angle which maximizes sunlight exposure. In the food chain, padding algae are ranked at the bottom as producers since they do not have any prey. Primary consumers such as herbivores and algae grazers would rely on them and could influence their distribution in conditions where padding algae are abundant. Black Sea Cucumber Black sea cucumbers are echinoderms that have no vertebrae.
They have elongated bodies with a single, branched gonad and a mesoderm skeleton composed of calcareous icicles. They are omnivores that consume detritus such as uneaten food and algae. It consumes by ingesting sand along other leftovers of food, digesting nutrients from it and expelling the indigestible material. This allows them to dwell almost any. Veneer as long as detritus is abundant. Like all echinoderms, the black sea cucumber has the remarkable ability of regeneration of tissues and organs. This allows them to recover and survive after deadly confrontations with predators.
When threatened, the black sea cucumber defends itself by expelling its internal organs which releases toxic chemicals within the vicinity. They are also able to release toxins upon their deaths. This can prove harmful to predators attempting to feed on the sea cucumber as it could ultimately lead to their deaths. Red-Eyed Reef Crab As the name suggests, Red-eyed reef crabs are easily identified by their distinctive red colour of their eyes. They are mostly nocturnal decapods that generally have a thick exoskeleton to protect its vital organs and a pair of pincers of which one is significantly large than the other.
The larger pincer is armed with ‘molar’ teeth used to crush the snail shells and the bones of fish. The smaller arm has slim fingers that can be used to reach into small openings and pry out snails. The crustacean’s arms are double Jointed, giving it the ability to reach behind itself to defend against unexpected encounters. Red-eyed reef crabs are predominantly found on boulders and rocky shores during the night. Because boulders on the shore are partially damp and covered in algae, the crabs have developed sharp, pointed legs to not only gain a strong grip on slippery surfaces but also move quickly when hunting.
Goby Fish Goby fishes are small carnivorous marine animals (averagely less than CACM in length) found throughout the world but predominantly abundant in the tropics. Some species of gibes are of the smallest vertebrates in the world, typically growing up the LLC when fully matured. They are shallow seafloor dwellers that burrow in soft substrates such as sand and mud. In some cases, gibes can form symbiotic relationships with other species such as with burrowing shrimps. These shrimps are partially blind and are unable to detect harm as effectively, leaving them vulnerable to potential predators.
The goby fish can deter that threat by protecting and alerting the burrowing shrimp of any threats as it digs into the sand, building shelter for the woo of them. This forms a mutual symbiotic relationship as the shrimp is alerted when harm is close by and the goby gains shelter in the sand. Mantis Shrimp The mantis shrimp is a stomata that spends most of its time under the shelter of rocks, corals and in complex burrow systems. They are protected by an exoskeleton and are armed with two powerful claws that can be accelerated at high speeds to inflict lethal damage which kill prey by spearing, stunning or dismemberment.
The claws can move fast enough to create a small sonic boom that can knock prey unconscious and possibly kill it. Their claws can shatter the skeletons of snails, clams, crabs and other crustaceans very quickly, making it one of the top predators in its ecosystem. Their claws are strong and resilient enough to inflict a force equivalent to that of a . 22 caliber bullet. Mantis shrimps typically remain near their shelter and await a passing prey but would occasionally venture to hunt. Mantis shrimps also have hex ocular vision consisting 16 photoreceptor’s and 3 focal points in each independent eye.
This allows them to perceive a wider spectrum of light than humans such as ultraviolet and infra-red. Because they are able to detect various lour of light invisible to the human eye, them have enhanced visuals of their environments which can be helpful when searching for prey. Periwinkle Snails Periwinkle snails are small marine gastropod mollusks that have gills and small lid opening called the propeller. They are oaten Dunn on boulders tot entertained rock shores and sometimes in rock pools. Periwinkles are mainly herbivorous, grazing algae on rocks in the littoral zone.
Typically, they spend long periods of time out of the water feeding or breeding. They are commonly seen climbing atop one another to avoid the heated surface of the rocks. Biotic factors to consider Competition Organisms that have the same needs as one another such as food, water, shelter or territory would often result in conflicts and competition. These resources are fundamental to most organisms which can often lead to adaptations forming over time to increase their competition against other species. Animal species that prey on the same food source would often increase pressures of food availability.
Because several groups of animals feed on the same source, there would typically be a smaller distribution of food to each animal. The more predators there are, the less food is distributed. However, if some species are unable to compete and match other competitors, their abundance would often be lower as they either flee to search for new food or die of starvation. Plants in rainforest’s also engage in competition for sunlight. Height and chlorophyll richness are factors that can influence the competition for light exposure.
The higher plants that are able to reach the canopy or emergent layer would often receive more light than those at the underscored layer and forest floor. To reach to such great heights, plants would have to form adaptations that would allow them to grow higher and maintain balance from strong ends and falling trees. Predation Following the general rule of competition, prey would typically be less abundant where there are more predators. It can control the abundance of some species from excessive population by adding some pressure.
Number of mates For sexual reproductive species, the number of mates is crucial to the population of future generations. Where there is lacking in either genders there will be a decline in abundance as they are unable to populate as quickly. In some species where a male is unavailable, a female is nominated and changes its gender for reproduction processes to continue. Symbiotic relationships Some species have biological interactions where two or more species are involved. Most relationships are common and expected such as the mutual symbiotic relationship between the goby fish and the burrowing shrimp.
There distribution and abundance would be similar in such interactions as they would often be found together. Food Availability Food is the main source of energy which is vital to survival of any consumer. Where there is insufficient food available to support a population, the abundance in that area decreases and is distributed elsewhere to discover other food sources. Without DOD, not many life forms can survive without food besides producers who obtain their energy from light. Biotic factors to consider Sunlight exposure – intensity The abundance and intense TTY that an area is exposed to sunlight can detect its ecosystem significantly.
Producers that make their own food source require sunlight to photosynthesis. Because the majority of the food chain is helplessly dependent on producers, sunlight is very vital to their survival. In the case of tropical coral reefs, algae are the main atrophic organisms that require damp conditions, sunlight and a surface to fix its position. Tides Tides change its level occasionally at various times of the day. When the tide is low, water is drawn back towards the sea, directly exposing shallow submerged areas to external conditions.
Organisms that need to be constantly submerged would avoid shallow water and hence changing its distribution. When tide crawls higher up the shore, it inundates most parts of the beach and distributing the conditions of the water evenly. This introduces other organisms that were previously unable to enter shallow depths. Salinity Sea water already contains some levels of salt that is regulated by osmosis through rage body of the sea. However, if sea water is isolated from its source and exposed to other biotic pressures, its composition and conditions can change.
When smaller bodies of sea water trapped in rock pools are under exposure of sunlight, its temperatures can rise and its water can be evaporated into the atmosphere. Although the amount of salt remains, this changes the concentration of salt as the water levels decreases. This can be detrimental to organisms that are unable to withstand saltier waters. Temperature Isolated bodies of water trapped in rock pools tend to be influenced by the exposure f sunlight. Temperatures are able to rise quickly in small, shallow waters and can affect the survival of some organisms that are not used to fluctuating water temperatures.
Availability of Gases The availability of essential gases such as oxygen can vary depending on the environment it is in. On the shore, animals that are able to respire on land would be able to access unlimited supply of oxygen. However, in rock pools, small puddles of water can have different availability of gases that can affect the survival conditions for marine animals that absorb oxygen dissolved in the water. Oxygen levels are often lower as the water is not sufficiently replenished. Animals living in rock pools will respire and deplete the availability of oxygen and release carbon dioxide in the process.
Acidity As marine organisms respire, they deplete oxygen levels and release carbon dioxide. This changes the composition of the water and causes a rise in carbonic acid levels, hence, increasing the acidity of the water. Animals living in acidic water would require a physiological adaptation to sustain their survival. Presence of Substrates Coral rubble, sand and rocks can have several properties that can affect the striations and abundance of an organism. Various substrates can have physical properties that can assist the growth and survival of some species.
Boulders and rocks can have fixed positions that would be able to harbor algae that rely on constant sun exposure. Large rocks are also able to provide shelter from predators and shade from direct sunlight. Availability of Space Space can be fundamental to the level of competition between similar consumers. Intense competition for food, mate and territory will occur in areas with little space. Species that snare the same t source would eve difficulty sustaining elite. In addition, shelter would also be limited and therefore preys are more vulnerable to their predators.
Distribution and Abundance of Species in relation to Biotic Features Biotic factors are the non-living components of the biosphere that can alter the habitats and conditions of which an organism lives in. Thus, they determine the distribution and abundance of its species. In the seashore survey conducted, there were several biotic pressures that made the area of study more difficult to live in if an organism had not developed suitable adaptations. Therefore, these pressures can create niche environments for particular species that are able to endure such difficulties.
Niche habitats create a distinctive barrier for its inhabitants from biotic factors that could affect their abundance such as predation and competition. Sunlight The availability of sunlight can affect the distribution of photosynthesis organisms. Water can often submerge areas and limit the amount of sunlight the seafloor receives. Therefore, atrophic organisms would often spawn in areas where it is not entirely engulfed by water but remains damp. Areas where light is unable to penetrate well or where surfaces are too dry are not suitable for organisms such as turf algae to grow.
Certain algae that are able to live in deeper depths are often rich in chlorophyll to optimism the amount of light they can receive. Tides The changes in water levels can greatly affect the distribution and abundance of some animals. As tides draw back to the sea, some animals flee to away from the shore to avoid endangering their survival. Marine animals that require to be submerged in constant sea conditions would find it difficult to survive on the shore at owe tides and therefore, retreating to further out to sea.
This would affect the distribution of the species as there would be a higher abundance further out in the sea than near the shore. However, particular species have developed suitable adaptations that allow them to withstand the conditions of low tides and would often remain on the shore despite the change in inundation. As tides move back up the shore, the shore is once again submerged and restored to similar conditions of the sea. Again, this would affect the distribution of species that moved out to the depths s they are now able to inhabit areas close to the shore.
Substrate There are certain organisms that only reside where particular substrates are available. Rocks are able to provide a firm position for algae to grow and receive sunlight and also provide smaller animals with shelter from high temperatures and protection from the detection of larger predators. Sand provides shelter from animals that are able to burrow into it. It is abundant in the ocean and provides animals such as crabs and shrimps with protection from predators and direct sunlight exposure. On a rock shore, where sand is less abundant, the abundance of Arabs and shrimps would be fewer as compared on a sandy shore.