Acting Locally Paper – Conservation Biology – 900 Words
This is a Part 2 of 2. I have attached part one for consideration. Please use it to complete this. Thank you!
***Location is Georgia, USA***
Writea 700- to 1,050-word paper about the ecosystems you have chosen and the species that make up these ecosystems. In your paper, include the following items:
Describe your pair of ecosystems and the types of current or proposed exploitation in one or both ecosystems. Explain the past, present, and potential future consequences of overexploitation in these ecosystems. Describe the potential costs and benefits of at least two exploitation activities.
Explain current and potential management of your ecosystems. How can modification, cultivation, or restoration alter these ecosystems? Outline at least two potential management plans beyond cessation of exploitation, and describe the costs and benefits of each.
Describe a regional or global threat to your ecosystem, such as global climate change and outline a plan to combat this threat.
Prioritize conservation efforts in your pair of ecosystems based on values and the principles of conservation biology by including the following elements:
Prioritize species and ecosystems for protection based on the values identified in the Acting Locally Paper – Part One.
Rank the priorities of continuing or ceasing exploitation activities, of alternative management plans, and of the plan to combat the regional or global threat to biodiversity.
Defend your prioritization based on specific values and on your plan’s overall effect on biodiversity, ecological integrity, and economic feasibility.
Identify at least two specific practical actions and at least two specific political actions you can take to support the top priorities you have identified for the pair of ecosystems. Interpret how these specific actions can support conservation and biodiversity.
Citeat least four references.
Formatyour paper consistent with APA guidelines.
Aquatic versus Terrestrial Ecosystems
Name of the University
Aquatic versus Terrestrial Ecosystems
Whether aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems have intrinsic and instrumental valuation has attracted immense scholarly attention. According to Biology Online (2017), an ecosystem refers to a system comprising abiotic and biotic components which collaborate as a single unit. The ecosystem may also refer to the geographic area organisms, landscape and weather collaborate to create the bubble of life. Thus, an ecosystem is a relationship between a community and the environment (Biology Online, 2017). Terrestrial and (freshwater and marine) ecosystems are among the four types of ecosystems. These ecosystems occur naturally in different biomes, and more so, their sizes range from the tree ecosystem to the vast ocean ecosystems.
Terrestrial vs. Aquatic Ecosystems
A forest ecosystem refers to the community of animals, plants, microbes, and other organisms interacting with the environment’s physical and chemical features. The interdependence between the forest ecosystems components for survival defines each organism depending on the ecological responsibility (Sen, 2020). Green plants, which exist as the forest ecosystem’s producers, consisting of four layers. Green plants’ ability to trap sunlight and use it to manufacture their food through photosynthesis makes them the primary consumer in the forest ecosystem. These trees comprise 165 feet-tall trees, which are often spaced apart, followed by those beneath the primary canopy (65-165 feet), and the closely spaced trees which produce nectar, fruits, and seeds for many animals (Sen, 2020). They also support some plants due to their inability to access adequate sunlight.
Primary consumers or herbivores rely on a wide range of green plants for survival, depending on their habitat and adaptation. For instance, the capybara (a semi-aquatic rodent) forages on the forest surface and wetlands for water plants and grasses. To survive, secondary consumers (carnivores) feed on the primary consumers, while tertiary consumers prey on other secondary consumers (Sen, 2020). Other secondary and tertiary consumers, such as a small monkey called the golden lion tamarin, combine animal diet with plant materials to survive hence called omnivores. Predators such as jaguars and ocelots feed on reptiles, mammals, and birds on the understory or forest floor. Green snakes like the emerald tree boas and harpy eagles hunt for lizards, mammals, and birds for survival. Millipedes and other groups of worms decompose and break down organic matter and convert them to soil nutrients for producers to nourish and be productive.
Freshwater and marine forms the aquatic ecosystems. Whereas marine ecosystems have salty water, its counterpart has fresh water. Freshwater ecosystems consist of lentic (lakes, ponds, and puddles) and lotic (streams and rivers). Besides, some developed lakes have littoral (transparent water surface) and limnetic zone (translucent water surface). The sections’ littoral zones host rooted plants while the limnetic zone’s plants float on the water surface, such as freshwater seaweed ferns. In marine ecosystems oceans and seas), the availability of the autotrophic algae makes it the primary producer of atmospheric oxygen via photosynthesis (Sen, 2020). The marine ecosystem is the most dominant in the globe.
Most freshwater ecosystems support a gametophyte of a fern called the freshwater seaweeds or Subwassertang, whose unique adaptive features make it tolerate unfavorable conditions such as freezing temperature or drought. Some freshwater seaweeds do not complete their lifecycle or remain in their gametophyte phase to survive the harsh conditions in various habitats (Arias-Arevalo et al. (2017). Fern gametophytes’ inability to experience sexual reproduction forces them to break off some of their tiny pieces to grow into new colonies.
Genus Azolla consists of between 7-11 species of unique ferns which grow in aquatic ecosystems. These ferns reproduce through spores but have two unique forms of reproductive spores. Under suitable conditions, these ferns develop sporocarps underneath their branches, forming male and female sporangia. Under normal circumstances, male gametophytes produce motile sperm into the water column for the female gametophyte to meet it using its megaspore for fertilization. Azolla has a rapid growth pattern. This fern can increase its biomass to double in less than three or ten days. This situation may change the water body’s appearance to look like a fuzzy carpet (Sen, 2020). The carpet’s color may range from burgundy to deep green, depending on the fern species. The ability of the fern’s overlapping scale-like leaves to trap the air makes it float on the water’s surface. Each plant has roots that often form a symbiotic relationship with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria called cyanobacterium.
Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems Valuations and Endangered Species
Terrestrial ecosystems such as forests and aquatic ecosystems like oceans, lakes, and rivers have intrinsic and instrumental values. For instance, the abundance of plants in the forest ecosystems makes it the producer in the food chain hence the fundamental component of life. Apart from plants, forests host numerous groups of animals ranging from worms to elephants. Trees from forests provide animals with abundant food in fruits, leaves, stems, and flowers (SOE, 2016). This food nourishes animals’ health and stimulates rapid reproduction, which assists in sustaining the food chain. Besides, the rapid growth rate and ability to spread in colonies have made Azolla the primary factor in cooling the global temperature in the last 50 million years. According to experts, the initial earth’s temperature was warmer than today, thus favoring the growth of tropical species like palms into the Artic.
Some ecosystems, such as the forests and aquatic ecosystems, have endangered animal and plant species. For instance, the destruction of natural habitat to develop infrastructure and constant contamination of aquatic water bodies by humans has endangered many plants and animal species. According to SOE (2016), 80% of the Dwarf Moonwort and Piedmont Quillwort fern has vanished in the last three decades. This case applies to Kemp’s ridleys, the sea turtle with poor reproductive and survival patterns.
Species Diversity versus Ecosystem Diversity
The independence of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems’ survival components proves the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem diversity. For instance, the cecropia tree provides an Azteca ant with a particular juice for food. In return, the ant destroys climbing vines which often chokes the cecropia tree and scares away insects that might harm the crops (Sen, 2020). Finally, an ant may feed on the sweet substance on the caterpillars spot while protecting it from potential harm.
Arias-Arevalo, P., Martin-Lopez, B. & Gomez-Baggethun E. (2017). Exploring intrinsic, instrumental, and relational values for sustainable management of social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 22(4):43. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09812-220443
Biology Online (2017). Ecosystem: Ecosystem definition. Biology Online, September 2. https://www.biologyonline.com/dictionary/ecosystem
Sen, D. (2020).Information about a forest ecosystem. Sciencing, January 28. https://sciencing.com/about-6325114-information-forest-ecosystem.html
SOE (2016) Terrestrial plant and animal species: Threatened species list. Australia State of the Environment, March 17.